Rubber Fetus Ban Taken To Court

Rubber fetuses given out by pro-life students at high schools in Roswell, New Mexico were banned because they were “distracting the educational environment.” The want for the ban to be overturned has created a court case bringing to question where the first amendment lies in the situation. Matt Reynolds of OnPoint details:

The suspensions of seven pro-life students at two Roswell, N.M., high schools for distributing rubber fetuses have given birth to a lawsuit that takes the First Amendment protections for student speech into uncharted territory.

The students, who belong to a religious youth group called Relentless in Roswell, sued school officials last month, alleging their suspensions were unconstitutional. They were disciplined in February after they handed out hundreds of fetus dolls at Goddard and Roswell High Schools before classes.

The complaint describes the dolls as two inches in length and “the actual size and weight of a developing unborn child at 12 weeks’ gestation.” Attached to the dolls was a verse from the Bible: “For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are your works.”

Liberty Counsel, a conservative advocacy group, is representing the plaintiffs, who are seeking injunctive relief and the return of dolls that were confiscated by school officials.

Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969), officials can only censor student speech that would seriously disrupt classroom or school activities. And pro-life activists in the nation’s schools have a track record of success in cases involving such materials as buttons, t-shirts and flyers.

Earlier this year, a New Jersey judge found a student was improperly suspended for distributing pro-life flyers, noting there was no evidence that other students were upset by the flyers and “this somehow caused a disruption to the learning environment.” C.H. vs Bridgeton Board Of Education

Continued at OnPoint News ...

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  • satan

    the tables have turned.

  • nemoide

    Woah, how can I get some rubber fetuses? Freezing them in ice cubes would be great at a party!

  • Hadrian999

    when i was in HS they banned skittles,
    these kids got off easy

  • chonus

    Rubber or not it's still a fetus.

  • JackFrost

    Sure they're annoying, but it's not that difficult to toss the things in the trash (or tell the student handing them out to back off). I do it all the time with the psychotic pamphlets and comic books people strategically leave behind at work.

  • http://unhub.com/drewt333 drewt333

    2″ is about right for handball. How well do they bounce?

  • Urza9814

    @Hadrian:

    My _STATE_ has banned skittles in schools. Along with all other candy.

    • Hadrian999

      thats a bit harsh

    • Haystack

      Why are skittles being banned?

      • Hadrian999

        well they were banned for us because we kind of used them as projectiles, they don't melt and don't break apart as easily as m&ms

  • Haystack

    It's kind of ironic…When I looked at that picture, it made me think that a 12-week old fetus was far more tiny and insignificant than I had previously supposed.

    Those would make really good pencil erasers.

    I have to come down on the first amendment side of this issue, personally. Free speech means being exposed to ideas that may shock or offend you. I believe there was a similar case where a school banned a “Bong hits for Jesus” T-shirt or banner.

  • DeepCough

    I wish they would give me a bunch of those rubber fetuses–so I could pelt them pro-lifers with an armful of rubber fetuses.

  • 5by5

    I'm strongly pro-reproductive choice for women, and believe that much of the anti-abortion argument is less about “protecting life” and more about subjugating women (I especially love pro-lifers who are also pro-death penalty & pro-war), but I think three things form the root foundation of our freedom – the right to vote, free speech, and separation of church and state that both protects the church from the state, and the state from the church.

    While I would strongly object to a teacher spewing religious beliefs on this matter in a classroom, I also believe that students right to free speech — and most importantly preserving the spirit of open discussion in an educational environment are extremely important.

    So I would back these spawn of wackjob rightwing fundie parents and their right to hand fetuses under the delusion that it will change anyone else's mind, just as I would EXPECT them to honor another kid's right to act like a flaming queen in the school hallways, or wear a George Bush Sucks ASS T-shirt.

    To quote Arthur Garfield Hays, “Most people believe not in ‘freedom of speech’, they believe in ‘freedom of speech, but…’ I believe in the right of anyone to express any opinion, no matter how wild, radical, blasphemous, or loathsome such opinion might be. And no matter how unpopular, vicious, or discredited the speaker may be. Mark you, I’m not talking of incitements to violence or violations of law. Those are not opinions. Thought must be free. Men cannot think unless they can express themselves. Who can be certain of what is the truth, unless all views are heard?”

    Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Noxious ideas are like champagne. Expose them to the air, and they fall flat.”

    Let these kids have their say. And let them in turn be exposed to the reactions to their speech. Let them hear alternative ideas they won't hear at home, and make up their own minds. It's all good.

    • Haystack

      I wonder what Oliver Wendell Holmes would have to say about Fox News. *g*

    • Synapse

      Pro-“Life” (a silly term invented by such people to promote their ideology as morally superior) is not at all contradictory with pro-death penalty and pro-war. They're making a differentiation between what sort of life is valuable: That of your enemy or, say, a multiple count murderer is not as valuable as what they see as an innocent life that has yet to even begin to live it's life. IMO, their own argument regarding a fetus is what makes pro-choice viable as something that has not yet been born cannot be considered to be equivalent to a human being. Otherwise even causing a woman to have a miscarriage via stress (i.e. if you're her boss giving her a big workload) should be considered murder via their ideology.

      • Haystack

        I agree with you that they're not being inconsistent by holding those positions. To approach it from a different direction, though, if pro-lifers were motivated by compassion, you'd expect pro-life groups to be promoting contraception, or lobbying for the sort of maternity leave laws that the rest of the world enjoys. They've become so hateful and myopic that they've lost sight of what they're supposed to stand for.

    • oman28

      The dynamic of free speech must allow a place for those who do not wish to listen

      Also, I believe that pregnancy caused by rape is in itself a strong enough reason for pro choice to be the option.

  • tonyviner

    I think they should use the same die to make a new marshmallow for Lucky Charms.

  • http://thefirstchurchofmutterhals.blogspot.com/ mutterhals

    Oh, I want a rubber fetus pencil topper!

    • Letsgetfatbotlaid

      YES! The first thing I thought was “can it erase pencil writing?”

  • justagirl

    mine isn't moving. *lip quiver*

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Strangely, I hope they win…and then suffer the spectacle of non Christians bring tiny atheistic/pagan/gay doodads and knickknacks into school every day and passing them around. When the shoe is on the other foot, they'll reveal themselves for the unprincipled thugs that they really are.

    • Haystack

      I think distributing Pernicious's Sourpatch Fetuses on campus would be the ultimate comeback.

  • perniciousknid

    Or Sourpatch fetuses. “Abort your hunger!”

  • Davidwwalters

    Perhaps these kids who take exception to fetus death could protest the killing of women, children, and other non-combatants(including fetuses) by U.S. taxpayer funded drone strikes and other military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  • Paxmundi

    I agree with 5by5. I consider myself pro-choice, at least until every kid in the world has a decent, loving, non-abusive home and at least 3 squares a day. When we've managed to eradicate such things as street gangs, violence and rape…then I *might* consider reversing my stance. That being said, freedom of speech and the rights of an individual to express his or her opinion are scared to our freedoms. We do not have the luxury to pick and choose those things which a person may utter in public. We simply have the choice to ignore them and walk away, or engage them in debate. That's called LEARNING!!! And isn't that what's supposed to go on at school? Pffft!!! I don't have to agree with a single belief these little nutbars hold so dear, but I feel it would diminish me as an American if I didn't stand up for their rights to express them. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't do the same for me (in fact I'm sure they would douse me with gas and thrown in a match), but maybe…just maybe I'll make a difference somehow. To quote Voltaire – I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

  • Namelesswon

    taking a rubber feutus to court is just plain stupid. they cant speak and they dont even pay taxes.

  • Namelesswon

    taking a rubber feutus to court is just plain stupid. they cant speak and they dont even pay taxes.

  • bradleyweeks

    There’s more going on here than you realize-this church on the move wants to run the school system. Do it our way or we’ll sue. School is school to learn following the rules and regulations. Don”t like it ,open your own school.This has nothing to do with free speech- its about this church imposing their will and beliefs. Where does it end? Pass out your material either before school or after-not during. Knock it off and quit wasting the school time and the court systems time-get back to learning. Amen

  • bradleyweeks

    There’s more going on here than you realize-this church on the move wants to run the school system. Do it our way or we’ll sue. School is school to learn following the rules and regulations. Don”t like it ,open your own school.This has nothing to do with free speech- its about this church imposing their will and beliefs. Where does it end? Pass out your material either before school or after-not during. Knock it off and quit wasting the school time and the court systems time-get back to learning. Amen

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