North Dakota High Schoolers Win Bid to Start Pro-Life Clubs

Administrators for a North Dakota school district approved two Students for Life of America (SFLA) high school clubs this week after initially denying their applications.

The approval followed a demand letter sent by the Thomas Moore Society (TMS) on behalf of SFLA and high school students Katie McPherson and Brigid O’Keefe. TMS sent the letter to Superintendent Jeff Schatz, outlining how the denial violated the federal Equal Access Act and the First Amendment.

 

(WNS)–Administrators for a North Dakota school district approved two Students for Life of America (SFLA) high school clubs this week after initially denying their applications.

The approval followed a demand letter sent by the Thomas Moore Society (TMS) on behalf of SFLA and high school students Katie McPherson and Brigid O’Keefe. TMS sent the letter to Superintendent Jeff Schatz, outlining how the denial violated the federal Equal Access Act and the First Amendment.

“We are glad that the district and high school administrators in Fargo have recognized the First Amendment rights of all students, including pro-life students,” said Jocelyn Floyd, Thomas More Society associate counsel. “High-schoolers do not lose their right to form clubs and speak their message just because they are pro-life. Rather, they should be encouraged to add their voices to the marketplace of ideas.”

McPherson attempted to found an SFLA club at Davies High School in September, and O’Keefe attempted to found a club at Fargo North High School in February. Both girls met administrative opposition. After they appealed, the district decided to classify pro-life clubs as “outside agencies” under a no-solicitation policy, meaning the clubs couldn’t use the school name in club titles, host events, or meet on campus.

The Davies Teens for Life club has already held its first meeting, and the Spartans for Life club will meet next week.

SFLA president Kristan Hawkins hopes McPherson’s and O’Keefe’s success will encourage other high school students to found pro-life clubs.

“It is often in high school that the first fires of pro-life activism are kindled,” she said. “Brigid and Katie are great examples of courage, standing up for their pro-life beliefs, and fighting to protect the rights of the pre-born.”

© World New Service. Used with permission.