Judge upholds Indiana high school’s ban on pro-life student group – LifeSite

(Live Action) — An Indiana judge has ruled that Noblesville Schools did not discriminate when a pro-life student club was disallowed from the Noblesville High School (NHS) campus.

In 2021, administrators at NHS revoked their approval for a local Students for Life chapter on campus, after they saw flyers from the group which read, “Defund Planned Parenthood,” and “I am the pro-life generation.” After the club’s approval was revoked, a student with the initials E.D. filed a lawsuit against the school and the school district for discrimination.

Now, Judge Sarah Evans Barker has ruled in favor of the school and the employees named in the lawsuit, noting that the student and her family “failed to show that their constitutional injury was caused by an official policy.” According to Students for Life of America (SFLA), Barker also claimed that “a parent’s presence at meetings about the pro-life club was somehow inappropriate and that because the school board of trustees had more authority than the principal over the case, the principal was not the final voice in denying a pro-life club.”

SFLA had previously sought to have Barker removed from the case due to her “alleged bias in favor of abortion.” Per SFLA: “Plaintiff cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial before this judge because of the personal bias and prejudice of the Honorable Sarah Evans Barker and her impartiality may fairly be questioned.”

SFLA president Kristan Hawkins said that the decision is “an insult to parents that weakens First Amendment protections by insisting that a temporary loss of rights is nothing to worry about.”

“We know that too many schools think parents should not have a presence or even a say in their children’s education, and, in this decision, that is extended to the mere presence of a parent at a time in which school officials were acting in ways that were intimidating to a young high school student who wanted the support for her idea,” said Hawkins. “The decision also tries to say that the violation of a student’s rights didn’t really matter because the board of trustees could have made a different call. But in depositions – as cited in the briefing – the authority to make decisions about student groups was delegated to the principal.”

According to a press release, Noblesville Students for Life is considering further legal action.

Reprinted with permission from Live Action.

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