“The Pro-Life Generation will not be silenced or intimidated,” said SFLA President Kristan Hawkins. “This is not the kind of back-to-school story anyone hopes for, but no matter the opposition, Students for Life will bring our message of hope to campuses in all 50 states.”
ROCHESTER, MN, and WASHINGTON D.C. (09-19-19) – A 40 Days for Life and Students for Life Kick Off in Rochester, MN, was disrupted Wednesday night as Students for Life of America Northern Regional Coordinator Noah Maldonado was speaking An agitated man allegedly had in his possession what looked to be a bomb. Maldonado was giving a speech title “Embracing Controversy” at Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester, MN, as police were called to the scene.
Maldonado said that the man was: “Very agitated during the event and was reportedly mixing chemicals together in his backpack in the center of the room before leaving in a hurry. Many members of the audience were disturbed by the erratic behavior and reported the smell of ammonia. Not long after that, the security on campus interrupted my speech to evacuate the building, indicating that there was a mysterious package in the center aisle, and everyone needed to quickly exit the theater. The crowd of more than 85 people quickly filed out of the room to the parking lot outside. Once outside, we prayed briefly, and I was able to actually finish my speech. Other students who had been in different parts of the college also gathered around to join our spontaneous event. Thankfully, everyone is safe and the man responsible is in police custody.”
SFLA President Kristan Hawkins said, “I hope everyone who learns about this story takes time to pray for our courageous staff and student leaders as this is just the start of the school year. Last year we saw an incredible increase in violence, which is the sad state of our national dialogue today. Frankly, we believe it will get worse this year, and we are making plans to protect both student free speech rights and those who stand for them.”
Maldonado said that the stressful events would not silence him or the students who joined him last night. “We will continue to promote non-violence to advance the dialogue on the human rights issue of our day. And we will embrace the controversy of abortion and will never stop standing in solidary with pregnant moms, families and their pre-born children.”
For more on the event, including pictures, click here.
Hawkins noted that pro-life students face incredible pressure as they advocate for life. Hawkins has been protested by Antifa and forced to provide security for some events. Last year, her banner for an event was set on fire on the side of a building. Earlier this year, President Trump featured two SFLA students at a campus free speech event, applauding their courage as they exercised their free speech rights.
To learn more about the 9 most common violations of student free speech, click here.
For questions and interviews, please contact Kristi Hamrick at [email protected]