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 ...