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High School Student Fights for Pro-Life Club

10-05-2016
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A high school student in Gretna, Nebraska is challenging her school's decision to deny sponsoring a pro-life club. 

Bridget Christensen, a junior at Gretna High School, started a Students for Life Club at her school last year but was told the club could not meet during school hours.

Students for Life of America (SFLA) is a pro-life, non-profit organization that seeks to end abortion by educating students and giving student leaders the training, skills and resources they need.

School officials said the reason for it's decision is the club was too "religious" and "controversial."

In an interview with CBN News, Christensen shared why the club is needed at her school.

"It educates our peers because not a lot of them know about this issue," said Christensen.

"They don't have an opinion. They don't know really know where they stand and I think that's extremely important as well as to educate many of our female students who may be faced with this issue as their high shcool career progresses."  

Christensen also said that school administrators have been treating pro-life students like second class citizens.

"There are other clubs out there that are just as legit as ours, specificially chess club or gay, straight alliance that could be pushing those boundaries and things like that and they have all the rights that we're seeking but we're still not being granted those rights so that double standard kind of plays in," she said.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America said, "Pro-life students have every right to form a club as any other student in high school and cannot be discriminated against for their pro-life views."

"Bridget's rights were breached when the high school denied her request to form a Students for Life group in order to educate and inform her peers on the tragedy of abortion and to help those facing unplanned, crisis pregnancies. Just because the school may not agree with the pro-life position, doesn't give them the right to not allow the club to exist," said Hawkins.

The Thomas More Society, a law firm for Students for Life of America, is representing Christensen in the case. The nonprofit law firm called the school's action discriminatory and sent a demand letter to the school.

The letter charges that the school unconstitutionally discriminated against Christensen by denying her right to form a school-sponsored Students for Life club at the school.

Students For Life of America and the Thomas More Society have given the school a deadline of two weeks to decide on this issue, and if it doesn't allow the group to become school sponsored, they are threatening to sue.

"Pro-life students are simply asking for equal treatment," said Floyd, "and this school's rationale for denying the group is that the club doesn't tie in with school curriculum—but neither do most of their other clubs. These dismissive bans on pro-life clubs are unlawful and violate the First Amendment.  If the school has a chess club, service club, gay-straight alliance, movie club, or any other extracurricular group, they may not exclude a Students for Life club." 

Meanwhile, Christensen said she hopes others stand up for what they really believe in.

"Right now I think our culture is so afraid of offending others or saying what they truly believe just because they're scared of how other people will look at them and I want to create a high school, an environment that is accepting of everbody's opinions and everybody should be encouraged to form their opinions," explained Christensen.   

Click the player for the full interview with Bridget Christensen.
 

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