Virginia HS Student Denied, Then Permitted to Start Pro-Life Club after Attracting Media Attention

Virginia HS Student Denied, Then Permitted to Start Pro-Life Club after Attracting Media Attention

School administrators at a Spotsylvania County, Virginia high school initially denied a student when she asked permission to start a pro-life club in her school. But after the teen persisted, the school relented and gave her permission.

Maddie Sutherland of Courtland High School had informed school administrators that they had violated her rights when they denied her permission to start her club earlier this school year.

The teen told FoxDC that she was a deep believer in the pro-life movement and warned the school that she wasn’t taking the denial lightly.

“I really think we should be encouraged to talk about really controversial matters in school … it shouldn’t be a problem,” she told Fox.

Miss Sutherland pointed out to the school noting that if they can teach students about Roe v. Wade, then she should be able help students who are interested learn of the other side of the issue.

After the teen applied pressure to the school, administrators relented but told the student she would have to wait until next year to start her club. But it wasn’t long before they changed that rule, too.

School authorities released a lengthy statement to explain their position on the matter.

“The Spotsylvania County School Board and its administrators believe that the appropriate exercise of free speech is an essential element to engaging in democracy. It is with great pride that the School Board and its employees help to prepare our county’s youth to be informed and active citizens of our community. The focus of the School Board and the administration is always on our students. If a student or member of our community has a concern about a School Board policy or regulation, or its application, the School Division welcomes the opportunity for constructive dialogue.“While the School Division has not received any direct communication regarding the concerns over the start date of the club, which have been described in various media outlets, the School Division will take these concerns into consideration and re-examine the applicable School Board policies and regulations.

“Today, the Principal requested that the Superintendent allow him to approve for the club to begin this year. In light of unique circumstances, the Principal’s request was granted.” noted that the change of direction was “a huge win for pro-life students.”

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