October 18, 2011 was the second annual Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity. The international event asked students around the world to wear red duct tape over their mouths with the word ‘LIFE’ written on the tape. It was estimated that thousands of students from hundreds of schools participated in the event.
Prior to the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity, a student at Dixon High School in Dixon, Missouri, displayed a poster for the event on the school bulletin board. The same bulletin board displayed posters promoting the Gay-Straight Alliance ‘Day of Silence’ along with posters containing edited photos of students to make them look like blood drenched zombies.
School officials removed the Pro-Life Day of Silence Solidarity poster and tore ripped it into pieces. They defended their actions by saying the poster was offensive.
Matt Sharp, litigation staff counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund say that the school’s actions are a clear violation of the First Amendment rights of free speech and has filed a lawsuit against the school district. Sharp points out that the school cannot pick and choose which posters they will allow and won’t allow based upon which views they support or don’t support. If you allow one, you have to allow all.
He issued the following statement,
“The simple fact is that [the student] has a positive pro-life message, and the school, under the First Amendment, must respect that message and give it the same treatment that’s given to all of these other student posters — the zombie posters and everything else that’s allowed in the school.
“From the Supreme Court on down, [courts have] consistently held that students have a First Amendment right to share their beliefs at school, to share their pro-life beliefs, their religious beliefs at school.”
Whether it’s school, work place, public arena or even in your own home, people who stand up for solid biblical moral standards are being abused and having their rights taken away. In the case of Dixon High School, the school officials involved with the removal and destruction of the poster need to make an apology to the student, then a public apology to the student body, the parents and community plus they need to be given 20 hours of community service time with the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity organization for violating the First Amendment rights of the student, and the organization.
If other schools learn that they will have to start making restitution for violating the constitutional rights of students, then perhaps some may think twice before taking such action.