Persistent Pro-life Youth Share the Truth and Give School Administrators a Lesson on First Amendment Freedoms
Contact: Kristina Garza, Survivors, 909-994-1024, Kristina@survivors.la
NIPOMO, Calif., Oct. 1 /Christian Newswire/ -- Members of the Survivors' Campus Life Team, were detained for holding graphic images and advocating the pro-life message on public sidewalks in front of Nipomo High School on Monday, September 27, 2010.
The activists offered literature to students as they left the school, many of whom requested the literature from the windows of their parents' cars, as their parents were picking them up. The Survivors were approached by campus administrators and guards shortly after school dismissal and instructed to leave the area or face arrest.
Principal Johnson and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Deputy Holzier claimed, first, that the Survivors were on school property, then that they were in violation of the school's safety zone, then that the team had caused a campus disturbance because the school administration had received many calls from angry parents.
Deputy Holzier prevented team members Kristina Garza and Daniel Rivera from participating in outreach for at least twenty minutes. "It was obvious that both the school and the sheriff department did not want us to share our message with the students," said Ms. Garza, director of the Campus Life Team. Deputy Holzier held the team members for questioning until all of the Nipomo students had left the area.
On Wednesday morning the Survivors learned that Nipomo High School officials posted a message on their website chastising the group for displaying graphic images to their students and assured parents that the school was taking steps to ensure this never happened again. Attorneys from the Life Legal Defense Foundation contacted the watch commander at the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department, who agreed that the Survivors had a right to stand on the public sidewalk and hold their signs.
The Campus Life Team returned to Nipomo High School on Wednesday afternoon, to engage in the free speech activity they attempted to do on Monday, but this time uninhibited by the threat of arrest. The Survivors were met once again by school administrators and sheriff deputies ordering them to move across the street away from the students. LLDF staff attorney, Allison Aranda, spoke with the sergeant in charge for nearly 15 minutes explaining to him why the group had a constitutional right to stand on the public street and engage in free speech activity. Meanwhile, the Survivors continued to share their pro-life message with students undeterred by law enforcement. By the end of the event, the students of Nipomo High School were exposed to the truth about abortion and the administrators learned a valuable lesson about free speech. "I'm proud that these young people took a stand for the truth and didn't let the administrator's abuse of authority intimidate them from lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights," said Ms. Aranda.
Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust is one of the leading pro-life youth activist organizations in the nation.