imageThe title of my February 19 post, “High school censors pro-life club while promoting gay club,” pretty much sums up the backdrop to this follow-up.

At issue was the censorship by Wilson High School in Tacoma, Washington, of posters sponsored by Wilson Students for Life, while it allowed the same for the Wilson Gay Straight Alliance.

On February 24, Bryce Asberg (pictured right), founder of WSFL, and his parents met with principal Dan Besett.

Win for pro-lifers; loss for freedom of expression

Besett gave the Asbergs both good and bad news, according to a press release by Thomas More Society, the pro-life legal group representing WSFL:

[E]vents requested by WSFL are now approved, but all student groups have lost the right to post expressive posters throughout the school….

The principal granted the group’s request to hold a pro-life Day of Silence [already approved for the Wilson Gay Straight Alliance] at their high school, and also officially notified WSFL of its approval to host a diaper drive, collecting diapers for a local pregnancy center….

However, in response to WSFL’s request to be allowed to hang its pro-life posters, the school decided this week to prohibit all groups from hanging posters containing any graphics, opinions, or other expressive text. The principal’s proposal only allows posters to have meeting or event information on them, banning all other messages.  The effect of this policy is that the expressive nature of any student group’s speech will be limited to the audience that actually attends the meetings or events, with no ability to provoke thought or spark debate with the viewers of the poster who would likely not attend the actual event.

“The new restrictive speech policy by the Wilson High School administration teaches a harmful message to their students,” said Peter Breen, Vice President and Senior Counsel of the Thomas More Society.  “Instead of showing these young citizens the value of the robust exchange of ideas guaranteed by the First Amendment, the school officials are teaching that the government will go to great lengths to silence messages that it opposes, including the pro-life message. Is that the lesson we want these future voters to take to heart?”

Indeed, unjust closure.

But the school cannot censor the pro-life message beyond its property. So on February 25, the Anti-Choice Project conducted a protest that included photos of abortion victims just off school grounds. Take nime minutes to listen to and learn from an articulate defense of the public display of photos of abortion victims by ACP’s Tom Herring on KIRO Radio in Seattle.

Here are some photos of the protest. Click to enlarge…




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