THUNDER BAY, Ontario, March 15, 2011 ( – “Pro-choice” students were sent home from St. Patrick’s Catholic High School in Thunder Bay, Ontario last week after disrupting a pro-life organized Day of Silent Solidarity, refusing to comply with school policies, and using profane language toward staff members.


The pro-life group had requested permission in advance to wear red tape with the word “LIFE” on it on their school uniforms for the day, in conjunction with a popular pro-life student awareness campaign.  Students participating in the school’s Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity choose to remain silent during the day to raise awareness for the unborn whose lives are taken through abortion.

But some students at St. Patrick’s began donning green tape with the word “CHOICE” written on it, to demonstrate against the pro-lifers. 

“I respect the Catholic beliefs and I respect everything the school is going for,” 15-year-old Alexandria Szeglet, who began handing out the green tape, told Thunder Bay News. “I wanted to show my opinion whether it was a Catholic belief or not.”

“I think everyone should have a right to show their opinion and do what they need and what they want instead of being told that no you have to keep the baby instead of doing what you feel is right for yourself,” said Szeglet.

Alexandria was sent to the school office where she was told she must take the tape off or go home for the day.  The tape violated uniform policies because it was not a scheduled and approved event.  Szeglet chose to return home.

During the morning, 12-15 other students were sent home for refusing to remove the green stickers and 2-3 students were given a two-day suspension for swearing at teachers when asked to remove the stickers.

Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board director of education, John de Faveri, assured press that the students were not sent home for wearing the stickers, but rather for refusing to take them off.  The suspensions, he said, were given only to students for using abusive language to school staff.

“It was whatever would have happened under any other circumstance where a student’s swearing at one of our teachers or not comply with the requests with someone who is in a position of authority at the school,” he said.

“They had the opportunity to state their message, which they did,” he said. “After they had a chance to do that, it was time for them to take off their statement. The vast majority, all but five or seven, chose to do that after they had a chance to talk to administration of the school.”

When asked by press, De Faveri was unable to say whether a “pro-choice” green tape event would even have been approved by the school had they gone through the proper permission procedures. was unable to reach St. Patrick’s school and the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board for further comment.

“On the issue, pro-life is part of the Catholic stand,” said de Faveri. “The pro-choice students were not appropriate in the context of a Catholic school.”

The counter demonstration will not affect the future of the Day of Silent Solidarity, which has taken place in the Catholic school for a number of years, said de Faveri.

Alexandra Calnan, founder of St. Patrick’s pro-life group and now a student at Lakehead University, told Thunder Bay News she wants the pro-life group to stay strong.

Calnan admitted she was concerned for the future of the Silent Solidarity campaign.  “That was my number one concern as soon as I found out about this,” said Calnan.

“They were totally within their right to be expressing their opinion and raising funds for their projects,” she said of the pro-life student group. “They had the administration’s approval months in advance…they went through all of the right procedures.”

The Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity began in 2004.  The project has grown to one of the largest pro-life events in the world with over 250,000 students from over 4,800 campuses in 28 countries participating last year.  To learn more, visit