By Gudrun Schultz

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Kentucky, April 28, 2006 ( – A literature professor and six students at Northern Kentucky University have been charged with criminal mischief and theft, after a campus pro-life display was vandalized on April 12.

Professor Sally Jacobsen is also facing a charge of criminal solicitation for allegedly encouraging her students to destroy the display, reported the Associated Press yesterday.

Four hundred white crosses, intended to represent a graveyard for aborted babies, were torn up and dumped in school garbage cans. A photo published in the online edition of the campus newspaper, The Northerner, showed Jacobsen appearing to tear up the sign explaining the display.

Jacobsen admitted to the destruction, telling the Kentucky Enquirer that her feelings against the display were so strong they justified her actions.

“Any violence perpetrated against that silly display was minor compared to how I felt when I saw it. Some of my students felt the same way, just outraged.” She said she had “invited students to express their freedom-of-speech rights” by destroying the display.

The campus pro-life group that erected the crosses, Northern Right to Life, had received school approval for the display. The groups’ president, student Katie Walker, said the vandalism was an attack on the freedom-of-speech rights of the pro-life students.

“It wasn’t just theft. It wasn’t just vandalism. It was the violation of a right we hold sacred. That kind of behavior needs to have repercussions.”

Jacobsen has been put on leave by NKU and will retire at the end of the school year.

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