Last week, we brought you news of the Wilson High School administration censoring Wilson Students for Life by not approving their pro-life events or allowing flyers with a pro-life message. The Thomas More Society sent a letter to the administration on behalf of Wilson Students for Life and Students for Life of America, demanding that they end the censorship of the pro-life group. After a week of negative media attention and pressure from the pro-life community, the school has decided to allow Wilson Students for Life to host their events, but has also decided that no student groups will be allowed to post flyers advocating for their cause, only flyers about meeting times.
We are glad that the school administration is no longer treating Wilson Students for Life unequally and that they are allowing the group to host events on campus. Over the next few weeks, Wilson Students for Life will be hosting a Day of Silent Solidarity for the pre-born babies killed through legal abortion who have no voice of their own and a diaper drive to support local pregnant mothers in need who have chosen life for their children. This is a great victory for pro-life students everywhere and the women and babies that they serve.
However, Students for Life of America and the Students for Life group at Wilson High School, led by club president Bryce Asberg, are disappointed that they have chosen to implement a new flyering policy. Kristan Hawkins, Students for LIfe’s President, remarked, “This new flyering policy will eliminate every student’s ability to advocate for causes they believe in, in order to simply to avoid the pro-life message. They are sending a message to all Wilson High students that if they stand up for their rights, everyone’s will be taken away. How can Wilson High School say it is preparing students for the ‘real world’ when they won’t allow important issues, issues that directly affect young people, to be discussed in the public square?”
Sadly, Representatives for Wilson High School are continuing to say that Bryce supports their decisions on the new policies. This is false. Fifteen year old Bryce remarked, “While I am thankful that the Wilson administration is willing to allow Wilson Students for Life to host previously proposed events and activities, I am disappointed with the new flyer/poster policy they have implemented, which silences all student clubs.” The school’s assertion is another in a string of lies that the school administration and its lawyers have been spewing over the past week, including giving the media a different set approval standards than was actually used by the school and e-mailed to Bryce and his other, claiming that the students did not follow the proper protocol for hanging flyers, and that no restriction of free speech had occurred. In a segment on KIRO Radio, Jason Rantz sums up the school’s misrepresentations: http://kiroradio.com/listen/9968089/#.
Peter Breen, Vice President and Senior Counsel of the Thomas More Society, responded to the school’s new policies commenting, “The new restrictive speech policy by the Wilson High School administration teaches a harmful message to their students. Instead of showing these young citizens the value of the robust exchange of ideas guaranteed by the First Amendment, the school officials are teaching that the government will go to great lengths to silence messages that it opposes, including the pro-life message. Is that the lesson we want these future voters to take to heart?”
Our team at Students for Life of America is extremely proud of Bryce and the courageous pro-life student members of Wilson Students for Life. Their willingness to stand up for their rights has gained national media attention from outlets such as Breitbart News and the Daily Caller, while also making the front page in Tacoma. Because they refused to back down when their administration tried to keep them quiet and censor their message, the pro-life message has been heard on the radio and TV and read in newspapers throughout the state of Washington. There’s no doubt that lives will be saved and other students will be inspired.
For interviews with Students for Life of America or with Wilson High School student Bryce Asberg, contact Kristan Hawkins: 240-678-9620, [email protected]. For interviews with Thomas More Society attorneys, contact Tom Ciesielka, TC Public Relations: 312-422-1333, [email protected].