MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, April 8, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A student-led pro-life club at St. Michael-Albertville public high school in Minnesota was denied official status because it allegedly “does not support the student body as a whole.”
Attorneys with Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the pro-life club “All Life is Valuable” (ALIV) yesterday.
“Pro-life students should not be discriminated against for expressing their beliefs. As the Supreme Court has noted, students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman.
More than a dozen other non-curricular clubs are given official school recognition, including the Diversity Club, Environmental Club, Animé Club, and Book Club. Club status rights include meeting at times during a special period, making announcements, and holding fundraising activities.
Yet, Dale Carlson, principal of St. Michael-Albertville High School, has denied ALIV equal treatment. ADF pointed out that District Policy 801 requires equal access for clubs for “religious, political, or philosophical reasons during non-instructional time.”
“School officials do not have the authority to trump the constitutionally protected rights of students, and by denying the ALIV Club official status on campus, they are doing exactly that. ADF has successfully litigated numerous cases like this around the country,” said Cortman.
The ALIV Club deals with a variety of issues that students face, including those related to faith and religion, life, abortion, abstinence, personal responsibility, leadership, community service, peer pressure, promoting respect and dignity for all others, and examining governmental and political issues.
ADF filed the lawsuit, ALIV Club v. Independent School District #885, with the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on Thursday.
Dale Carlson, Principal
St. Michael-Albertville High School
5800 Jamison Ave. NE
St. Michael, MN 55376