A public high school in Pennsylvania is being sued—after it banned pro-life students from forming a club that opposed abortion.
Parkland High School’s administrators deemed the club, “Trojans for Life,” too controversial—but now, a non-profit legal society, Thomas More Society, is suing the school for violating the First Amendment and the federal Equal Access Act.
Administrators had apparently made a number of demands of the club—forcing them to add a laundry list of limitations their official constitution in order to get approved as a school-sanctioned club.
The school initially denied the club. They later agreed to let them form—but only if the club promised not to fundraise for religious entities; not do work off-campus; to restrict their communications and on-campus work to only club members, rather than trying to influence the school at large; and seek approval from the school whenever doing any volunteer activities.
In essence, the school decided the pro-life club could exist—but only if they agreed to do absolutely nothing, on-campus or off-campus, to further their pro-life cause.
Bolstering Thomas More Society’s case against Parkland is the fact that, apparently, Parkland only demanded these restrictions for the pro-life club. Other political clubs, including the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, were not required to limit their activity at all in their club constitutions.
“Parkland’s initial denial and later attempt to impose extra requirements on [“Trojans for Life” founders] Liz and Grace’s club are a far cry from the law’s requirement that schools treat student clubs equally in every respect,” said Jocelyn Floyd, legal counsel for Thomas More Society.