A school district in Florida is now allowing a pro-life student club to launch after a high school principal was accused banning the group because it was seen as too “controversial.” The school district has denied that claim.
The conservative nonprofit legal group Alliance Defending Freedom sent a demand letter on Nov. 7 to administrators at the Collier County Public School Board and the assistant principal at Gulf Coast High School on behalf of student Gabrielle Gabbard.
Gabbard says she was rebuffed by the school’s Assistant Principal, Catherine Crawford-Brown, when she expressed interest in starting a club called Sharks 4 Life. The club was to be a chapter of the national organization Students for Life, which has over 1,200 chapters nationwide advocating against abortion.
According to the demand letter, Gabbard and Sharks 4 Life missed out on over two months of meetings and events that included a recruitment drive in early September because of the denial.
The letter states that Gabbard submitted the required information to launch the club to Crawford-Brown by Aug. 8. She described the club as “a pro-life group whose mission is to educate students and bring awareness through community service projects and other events.”
The letter additionally claims that Gabbard had arranged for two faculty advisors for the club: Ms. Lisa Townsend (official advisor) and Ms. Linda Cassidy (unofficial adviseor).
After submitting a flyer for Sharks 4 Life to be included in the school’s club recruitment drive on Aug. 27, the letter states that Cassidy and Gabbard met with Crawford-Brown on Aug. 30. According to the letter, Crawford-Brown said the school district would not approve the club because it was too “political” and “controversial.”
Then on Sept. 4, Crawford-Brown met with Gabbard and the club’s vice president, Ava Dobrydney, and staff member Cassidy.
In that meeting, Crawford-Brown allegedly said that the school’s approval of the pro-life group would be seen as an approval of the group’s political views. She is also accused of saying that she did not want either a pro-life or pro-choice group at the school.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith