FREDERICKSBURG, VA and CINCINNATI, OH (10-25-18)–
This blog has been updated to reflect the press release sent out to clarify that, “Campus security is investigating the issue, but the Bias Advisory and Response Team initially ruled that the incident was not bias, even though the students were clearly targeted for their beliefs. BART did send out a vague e-mail noting a “perceived bias incident” has been reported and are still looking into it. Earlier that week, the Students for Life group had hosted the They Feel Pain tour about ending late-term abortions.”
In the middle of the night on Wednesday, October 17th, pro-choice vandals destroyed chalkings at Xavier University, a Catholic university in Cincinnati, Ohio. A week earlier, on Thursday, October 11th, a sign for St. Louis University Students for Life’s display was also stolen. The sign listed statistics about abortion.
In response to the vandalism, Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America released the following statement: “We fully condemn the targeting of Students for Life groups by pro-choice vandals. It is even worse considering these both happened at Catholic schools, where respect for human dignity should be paramount. We respect the free-speech rights of all students and we only ask that pro-choice students respect ours. Sadly, under the influence of pro-choice politicians who incite violence and encourage kicking of conservative people, many students believe it is okay to commit violence against people they disagree with and for no other reason.”
At Xavier University, the school’s response has not been productive. Campus security is investigating the issue, but the Bias Advisory and Response Team initially ruled that the incident was not bias, even though the students were clearly targeted for their beliefs. BART did send out a vague e-mail noting a “perceived bias incident” has been reported and are still looking into it. Earlier that week, the Students for Life group had hosted the They Feel Pain tour about ending late-term abortions.
For the first time in Xavier history, students for life messages were destroyed on campus. The messages of love and hope we worked to spread were washed away in the middle of the night by those who disagree but we will not stop being a voice for the voiceless. pic.twitter.com/JUpQp8cVJh
— Xavier Students4Life (@xustudents4life) October 18, 2018
At St. Louis University, students were caught on social media threatening to steal it. One commenter , Rachel Johns wrote, “If I destroy it in their face, what is that one person going to do? NOT A MOTHERFUCKING THINGGGG!!!”. A student, Mya Petty cautioned, “gurl, u know they careful cause somebody took it last year too.”
Cemetery of the Innocents at St. Louis University, 2018.
Other recent vandalism includes: pro-life posters being torn down at Woodson High School in Virginia, signs and flags being stolen at University of Nebraska-Omaha, and pro-life posters being torn down at Robert Morris University and Kutztown University.
You can find a map showing vandalism against pro-life displays on high school and college campuses here.
You can read Kristan Hawkins’ op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on free-speech issues here.
For interviews or analysis, please contact Matt Lamb at [email protected]