SFLA Brings Pro-Life Display to ‘Machete Professor’ Shellyne Rodriguez’s New School After Her Vandalization & Violence Last Semester 

Caroline Wharton - 26 Oct 2023

Will Rodriquez Be Able to Keep Her Cool at The Cooper Union?  

“As if we needed another reminder that many school administrations do not prioritize their students’ free speech, the professor that destroyed a pro-life display and chased reporters with a machete for questioning her on the incident is actually teaching again. What is wrong with the hiring committee for The Cooper Union?” asked Students for Life of America Executive Vice President Tina Whittington. “They obviously don’t value their students’ safety or First Amendment rights as they’ve allowed Shellyne Rodriguez another opportunity in the classroom after she clearly disqualified herself. I pray for the wellbeing of those she comes into contact with at school — may they have a better experience than she afforded the Pro-Life Generation.”  

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK (10-26-2023) – Despite Shellyne Rodriguez being fired from Hunter College for destroying a Students for Life of America (SFLA) display and chasing around New York Post reporters with a machete, she was recently hired again at The Cooper Union, another New York City institution. To protest the school’s recklessness in hiring such a violent individual and remind Rodriquez that life begins at conception, SFLA will be bringing the What is A Person? Display Tour right outside The Cooper Union at 30 Cooper Square, New York City, New York 1003 on October 26, 2023 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST.

SFLA Northeast Field Operations Coordinator Savannah Craven, who was on site during Rodriguez’s initial attack, will be leading the event with the Pro-Life Generation. 

MEDIA ADVISORY: SFLA team members and the Pro-life Generation will be available for interview and B-roll opportunities on the ground. To get in touch with them, contact [email protected]

SFLA team members have confirmed that sculpting classes will be held during the time of their event, the subject Rodriquez teaches. The Pro-Life Generation is hopeful a meaningful exchange can take place at her new school. Considering how such an interaction went last time, however, the New York Police Department will be monitoring the event to keep all participants safe. 

WATCH: To see Rodriguez aggressively approach SFLA’s table at Hunter College in spring 2023 and yell profanities before ultimately ruining the display, click HERE

READ: To understand the extent of coverage on this story, click HERE to read a round-up of the media on this story. 

As SFLA President Kristan Hawkins commented when this story initially broke, “[This] illustrates what the Pro-Life Gen is dealing with on a daily basis…unhinged, unreasonable, and aggressive opposition to pro-life free speech including from those in leadership at schools across the country. Free speech rights students are afraid to use don’t exist, which is why we have to keep fighting for our Constitutional freedoms.”   

During the 2022 – 2023 school year, SFLA groups saw free speech violations triple in number following the reversal of Roe v. Wade (including the Hunter College incident with Rodriquez), and the vitriol and violence appears to be continuing in this new school year. In just New York in 2023 alone, abortion supporters at three different schools have stolen or destroyed SFLA property through eating or chewing up models of preborn children

For interviews, contact [email protected]


Students for Life Action (SFLAction), a 501c4, along with its 501c3 sister organization, Students for Life of America (SFLA), make up the nation’s largest, pro-life youth organization, managing a political and policy operation engaging Americans of all ages but with a special emphasis on the largest segment of voters — the Youth Vote. Together they provide political, legal, educational, and community support for women and children, born and preborn. Headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA, SFLA serves more than 1,400 groups on middle, high school, college, medical, and law school campuses in all 50 states. SFLA and SFLAction have more conversations with this generation targeted by the abortion lobby than any other pro-life operation in the world, each week reaching more than 4 million across social media platforms and averaging 1.3 million video views. SFLA has also launched multiple initiatives to lead and serve the future of the pro-life movement including the Campaign for Abortion Free CitiesStanding With You, and the Demetree Institute for Pro-Life Advancement . Over more than 17 years, President Kristan Hawkins has grown SFLAction/SFLA and the Pro-Life Generation into a nearly $20M organization, now preparing for an abortion-free America.

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