Saturday, October 17, 2015

Kentucky School Censors Pro-life Students: Lawsuit

Principal Matthew Turner of Larry A. Ryle High School in Union, Kentucky told senior student Patrick Edwards that the Ryle Students for Life club could meet and discuss pro-life advocacy in secret, but the club was forbidden by law to inform other students because abortion is "too controversial" and may offend people.
“We want to hang up fliers that promote a pro-life message and that would attract students to our club.  It’s hard to get your pro-life message out there when you’re restricted from putting it anywhere.”
-- Patrick Edwards, student
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

PC Las Vegas School Denies Pro-life Student Club

North Dakota Schools Backtrack on Pro-life Club Bans

Iowa School Censors Pro-life Girl's Rights, Lawyer Says

Connecticut School Censors 'Controversial' Pro-life Kids

Virginia School Slow-walks Pro-life Club Approval

New Jersey School Censors Student Expressing Pro-life View

Washington School OKs Gay Message, but Censors Pro-life Students

-- From "Group: Principal should allow anti-abortion flyers" by The Associated Press 10/14/15

A letter from attorneys for Students for Life demands that [Principal] Turner allow the flyers to be posted by Oct. 20 or it threatens to sue.

Turner said the district's attorneys are reviewing the letter, but that "the policies we have in place are in full compliance with the law."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "NKY student accuses principal of censoring pro-life group" by Jordan Vilines, Reporter, WXIX-TV19 (Cincinnati, OH) 10/14/15

Patrick Edwards, 18, says he’s been banned from placing "Students for Life" posters at Ryle High School. "Students for Life" is a student organization at Ryle High School with 15 to 20 members who meet on weekly basis to share their views on pro-life issues and volunteer in various outlets throughout the community.

The lawsuit filed on Tuesday against Ryle High School Principal states that Edwards’ First Amendment rights were violated when the principal denied the "Students for Life" club the opportunity to display the club’s fliers and posters on school grounds.

Edwards tells us that all but one of his requests for displaying "Students for Life" posters has been denied. “The poster of Ann Frank and her statement is the only poster that was approved because it had a universal message and doesn’t have anything to do with abortion,” Edwards said

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Ryle High School Accused Of Censoring Pro-Life Messages" by Travis Thayer, WSCH-FM99.3 (Lawrenceburg, IN) 10/14/15

Ryle High School Principal Matthew Turner apparently told Edwards to submit the fliers ahead of time for approval, and six of the seven fliers were rejected.

One of the rejected fliers included a panda bear hold a sign saying “Save the baby humans.”

Reports suggest that other student clubs and students have been allowed to post fliers taking various positions, but the anti-abortion fliers could not be posted because the issue was too controversial.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Too controversial for school?" Hannah Sparling, Cincinnati Enquirer 10/13/15

The situation stems back to August, the beginning of the school year, when senior Patrick Edwards started posting fliers for the Ryle Students for Life club, according to the release [from lawyers representing Students for Life of America]. . . .

“Other student clubs and students have been allowed to post fliers taking various positions and I was specifically told my fliers could not be posted because the issue was too controversial,” Edwards said in the release. “I believe it’s important to be able to share positive pro-life messages with my peers, especially with students who may be facing an unplanned pregnancy or know someone who is. Our aim is never to discriminate but to lovingly present the pro-life message and make a positive impact on our school community.”

“The law does not permit a principal to ban speech simply because, in his subjective opinion, the speech is too controversial,” said attorney Kyle Winslow, one of those who signed the letter. “Ryle High School’s censorship of Patrick clearly violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and must end.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "High School Censors Pro-Life Group’s Flyers With Mother Teresa as 'Too Controversial'" by Steven Ertelt, 10/13/15

Ryle High School principal Matthew Turner has received a demand letter from Students for Life of America on behalf of Patrick Edwards, a senior at Ryle HS. Alliance Defending Freedom affiliates and attorneys at Hemmer DeFrank Wessels in Fort Mitchell, KY, Todd V. McMurtry and Kyle M. Winslow, signed the letter, which charges that Turner has unconstitutionally discriminated against Patrick and the Ryle Students for Life club by censoring the placement of pro-life flyers throughout the school.

As the demand letter states, the school’s denial of the Students for Life club’s flyers is 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 requests that the school immediately allow the flyers to be placed in the school and that the Ryle Students for Life club be treated the same as any other club at the school.

“By actively denying Patrick his right to put up pro-life flyers on behalf of the Ryle Students for Life club because they promote the pro-life message is outright discrimination,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “The school has no right to censor a message because they deem it to be controversial, as is the case with Mr. Turner at Ryle High School. Unfortunately the school administration has failed to uphold the free speech rights of Patrick and we had to seek legal assistance to make sure that his rights are upheld.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Office Depot Refuses Christian Pro-life Customer in Illinois

And read about myriad schools and governments paying fines for their actions against pro-lifers.