School officials in Indiana demanded that a student pro-life group sign an agreement stating that they will not use the word “abortion” – or face grave consequences.
After one student complained about the pro-life message, Carmel High School officials tore down a poster displayed by the Carmel Teens for Life group on campus, which promoted adoption as an alternative to abortion.
Following the incident, school officials claimed that the multi-part poster expressed an “ideology” that was “not approved for display,” even though, in fact, it was approved, which was evidenced by approval stamps placed on each one of its component pages. Furthermore, the poster complied with the club signage guidelines.
However, leaders at Carmel High School claim otherwise.
“[Club signs are not permitted to] interfere with what folks are thinking or feeling comfortable with,” the school’s principal and assistant principal declared.
A Christian legal group, Liberty Counsel, contends that signs from other school groups promoting different ideologies – including pro-LGBT and pro-Young Democrats student groups – are allowed on the high school campus.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Matthew Staver maintains that school officials are warning club members to forget about the incident – or face what he calls unjust punishment.
"They told them you can't contact an outside organization because they had contacted us for counsel, you can't speak to your parents, you can't use the word 'abortion' in any communication – including on your Facebook – and if you don't sign this agreement, you'll have to resign from the club and the club will be immediately disbanded," Staver informed.
Staver argues that school officials are blatantly guilty of viewpoint discrimination.
"They wanted to prohibit them from learning what their rights were – prohibiting them from talking to the parents, stopping them from using the word 'abortion' on a Facebook [post],” the legal expert impressed. “This is just simply outrageous. I can't imagine that the school really believes they have this kind of authority."
Staver announced that his legal organization is giving the school until the end of this week to remedy the situation and apologize – or face a serious federal lawsuit.