By Gudrun Schultz
MONROE, Michigan, March 27, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Students at Jefferson Middle School have won protection for the right to speak out against abortion on school property, after a federal judge issued a permanent injunction on March 26.
Student Michael Amble-Lucas was forbidden by school officials to hand out pro-life information to his schoolmates between classes—the student was participating in the “Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity held on Oct. 24,” a student-led effort to inform other young people about the damage caused by abortion. The pro-life ministry Stand True sponsors the international event, with students at more than 1,000 schools in the US, Canada, the Philippines, England and Germany participating.
The Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance dedicated to defending freedom of religion rights, represented Amble-Lucas in the case.
“We’re glad that the judge affirmed that students do not sacrifice their constitutional right to free speech once they enter the schoolhouse door,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Delia van Loenen. “The judge saw that the school had acted wrongly when it tried to censor our client’s message. This decision is another important victory for the constitutional rights of all students.”
Judge Victoria Roberts had issued a preliminary injunction in the case Jan.30. On Monday, she changed that injunction to a permanent injunction, guaranteeing continued protection for the student’s right to free speech, the ADF reported yesterday.
“Pro-life speech is not second-class speech,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Byron J. Babione. “It has the same protections as all other speech under the Constitution, and this victory is an affirmation of the most basic of our constitutional rights.”
Attorneys with the ADF have represented students in at least four additional cases where the students were harassed by school authorities for discussing abortion with their peers, including schools in Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania. All four cases have resulted in court-issued protection for the students’ rights to communicate a pro-life message at their schools.
See press statement by the ADF:
To read a copy of the permanent injunction in the Michigan case:
See previous LifeSiteNews coverage:
Middle School Principal Bars Student from Participating in National Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity