NEBRASKA HIGH SCHOOL DISCRIMINATES AGAINST STUDENTS FOR LIFE CLUB

Can you call the Gretna HS Superintendent, Dr. Kevin Riley, and tell him to approve the Students for Life club so that Bridget can educate her peers on this crucial issue of abortion?

His phone number is 402-332-3265.

School administrators at Gretna High School and the school’s attorneys have received a demand letter from Students for Life of America’s law firm, the Thomas More Society, on behalf of student Bridget Christensen. The letter charges that Gretna High School has unconstitutionally discriminated against Bridget by denying her the right to form a school-sponsored Students for Life club at Gretna High School.

“Pro-life students have every right to form a club as any other student in high school and cannot be discriminated against for their pro-life views,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “Bridget’s rights were breached when the high school denied her request to form a Students for Life group in order to educate and inform her peers on the tragedy of abortion and to help those facing unplanned, crisis pregnancies. Just because the school may not agree with the pro-life position, doesn’t give them the right to not allow the club to exist.”

Bridget Christensen, a junior at Gretna High School in Gretna, Nebraska, right outside Omaha, attempted to start a Students for Life club but she met resistance from school administrators. They told her that the club was too “religious”, which is not only untrue of the Students for Life club but also an illegal reason to deny the existence of the group. The school also said the Students for Life club is “controversial,” also an illegal reason to deny the group.

“Instead of dedicating my time to educating my peers about abortion and creating a Bridget Christensonstrong Students for Life group at my high school that could be resource for those students facing unplanned pregnancies, I’ve been forced to argue against my own school administrators and fight for my First Amendment rights,” said Bridget Christensen, a junior at Gretna High School. “My school administration has been treating me and my friends who want to the start the Students for Life club like second class citizens by not allowing us to be a school-sponsored club, even though they allow many other clubs that may be considered controversial. This double standard is discrimination and it’s wrong.”

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Jocelyn Floyd, who serves as lead counsel for Students for Life of America’s high school clubs, noted that the Gretna High School administration response reflects a common misunderstanding of the law.  Thomas More Society attorneys have tackled similar scenarios in California, Iowa, Nevada, North Dakota and Virginia. “Pro-life students are simply asking for equal treatment,” said Floyd, “and this school’s rationale for denying the group is that the club doesn’t tie in with school curriculum—but neither do most of their other clubs. These dismissive bans on pro-life clubs are unlawful and violate the First Amendment.  If the school has a chess club, service club, gay-straight alliance, movie club, or any other extracurricular group, they may not exclude a Students for Life club.”

As Thomas More Society states in their demand letter, the District’s refusal to officially recognize the Students for Life club as a proper student organization constitutes a violation of the students’ rights under both the federal Equal Access Act and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Students for Life of America and the Thomas More Society request that the school promptly approve the Students for Life club at Gretna High School.

Link to the demand letter here: LINK

Can you call the Gretna HS Superintendent, Dr. Kevin Riley, and tell him to approve the Students for Life club so that Bridget can educate her peers on this crucial issue of abortion?

His phone number is 402-332-3265.