November 13, 2019

Florida Public High School Rejects Student Pro-Life Club. Alliance Defending Freedom Threatens Legal Action in Response.

Picture from March for Life 2019
Credit: American Life League / Flickr
Gabrielle Gabbard attempted to form a pro-life student group called "Sharks 4 Life" affiliated with the national group, "Students for Life." Even though the school allowed students to form several other political and religious groups, including Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Gay-Straight Alliance, and Collier Students for Change (an affiliate of the Florida Democratic Party), Gulf Coast High School claimed that Sharks 4 Life was too political and too controversial. This stance could very quickly get the school into legal trouble, however.

Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to Gulf Coast High School on November 7, asking administrators to reconsider the decision and gave them a week to provide written proof of the club's approval. Alliance Defending Freedom rightfully claims that the school's discriminatory conduct is in violation of the Constitution and the Equal Access Act.

“Public school officials can’t refuse to recognize a student organization for being too ‘political’ or ‘controversial,’ especially when they have rightfully approved a whole host of other clubs formed around religious, political, and social interests,” said Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Michael Ross in a press release. “The First Amendment doesn’t permit a public school to play favorites when approving student organizations.”

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