A public high school in Pennsylvania is being sued—after it banned pro-life students from forming a club
that opposed abortion.
Parkland High School’s administrators deemed the club, “Trojans for Life,” too controversial—but now, a non-profit legal society, Thomas More Society, is suing the school for violating the First Amendment and the federal Equal Access Act.
Administrators had apparently made a number of demands of the club—forcing them to add a laundry list of limitations their official constitution in order to get approved as a school-sanctioned club.
The school initially denied the club. They later agreed to let them form—but only if the club promised not to fundraise for religious entities; not do work off-campus; to restrict their communications and on-campus work to only club members, rather than trying to influence the school at large; and seek approval from the school whenever doing any volunteer activities.
In essence, the school decided the pro-life club could exist—but only if they agreed to do absolutely nothing, on-campus or off-campus, to further their pro-life cause.
Bolstering Thomas More Society’s case against Parkland is the fact that, apparently, Parkland only demanded these restrictions for the pro-life club. Other political clubs, including the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, were not required to limit their activity at all in their club constitutions.
“Parkland’s initial denial and later attempt to impose extra requirements on [“Trojans for Life” founders] Liz and Grace’s club are a far cry from the law’s requirement that schools treat student clubs equally in every respect,” said Jocelyn Floyd, legal counsel for Thomas More Society.
“We hope that the court will quickly recognize the illegal and unconstitutional way the school has treated Liz and Grace and require Parkland High School to uphold their rights under both the First Amendment and Equal Access Act,” she added.