Earlier this week, the principal of Grosse Pointe South High School in Michigan, Dr. Matt Outlaw announced that former presidential candidate Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) had been disinvited from the school because of his opposition to same-sex marriage. On Wednesday, however, the high school administration reinstated the event – but required parents to opt-in rather than opt-out. The high school announced that its cancellation was based on the fact that Santorum had not spoken to a high school before, and that he refused to give a prior copy of the speech for vetting by the school administration.
The school’s new announcement:
The district recognizes Mr. Santorum’s leadership qualities, having served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995, and in the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2007. As part of an educational environment, we provide multiple opportunities for our students and staff to hear and examine various viewpoints. Per further contact between Principal Outlaw and event organizers, the district has been assured the primary focus of his remarks will be on leadership and community service – two qualities we seek to instill in our students.
With this compromise, families will have the opportunity to discuss and determine prior to the event, whether they wish their student to participate. Staff will be given that same opportunity. Those who choose not to participate will continue with their regularly scheduled school day.
Usually, students have to have parents opt-out of various school activities. But when it comes to conservative politicians speaking to high school students, the calculus changes dramatically.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).