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Federal Court Sides with Pro-Life Student's Expression of Belief

News Release : May 3, 2010 : LifeSiteNews.com

"The Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity provides the opportunity for students to exercise their constitutional right to express their viewpoint in a non-disruptive manner on abortion, just as other students have the right to express their views."

Silent Solidarity day(Camden, NJ)—A federal court ruled last Thursday that the Bridgeton Board of Education should not have prohibited a student at Bridgeton High School from expressing a religious viewpoint on the 6th annual Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity.

The student was prohibited from participating in the Stand True Ministries-sponsored event by distributing pro-life literature during non-instructional times and wearing a red arm band. School officials told the student that nothing "religious" is allowed in public schools and that they feared the student's arm band could cause disruptions.

Alliance Defense Fund filed the lawsuit on behalf of the student in November of last year.

"Pro-life students shouldn't be discriminated against for expressing their beliefs," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman.

"The Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity provides the opportunity for students to exercise their constitutional right to express their viewpoint in a non-disruptive manner on abortion, just as other students have the right to express their views. We certainly agree with the court's ruling in this case. Government-run schools say that students need to be educated on these issues, but many times they only want to allow one side to be presented."

In its opinion, the court wrote that school district officials "have not presented any convincing argument that students will in fact become disruptive simply because one student is wearing a plain armband. ..."

"For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff's Motion is granted and Defendants are permanently enjoined from prohibiting Plaintiff from wearing the armband or distributing the flyers absent a well-founded expectation of disruption."







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