New Mexico Middle School Denies Pro-Life Club, Student Takes Legal Action
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- 2018 Sep 20
Last year an Albuquerque, New Mexico middle school, refused to allow a student to start a pro-life club, and are now facing legal action.
Reportedly, 8th grader Dylan Fredette asked the administration at his middle school numerous times for permission to launch a Students for Life group at Rio Rancho Middle School last year but was consistently denied the right to do so by the school's principal, Linda Kitts.
According to the Thomas More Society, which is representing Fredette, Kitts told the student that she could not allow the club because it would be too controversial and unfair to those who did not agree with him.
"Rio Rancho Middle School currently allows various non-curriculum clubs, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club, Pay It Forward Club, and Chess Club. Kitts' only explanation to Dylan regarding her refusal to allow the club was that the group's message would be too controversial and not 'fair,'" Thomas More Society Special Counsel Joan Mannix noted.
"That basis for denial violates Dylan Fredette's rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Rio Rancho Public Schools' own policies," she said.
Purportedly, Principal Kitts has no memory of the conversation in November 2017.
Hawkin’s said, "It is shameful that Rio Rancho Middle School, a taxpayer-funded school, has been discriminating against pro-life students for almost a full year now.”
She continued, "The school has appallingly and disgustingly continued to throw up illegal obstacles in the way of students who want to start a group to reach out to their peers and educate them about the injustice of abortion."
"We strongly support the students who are fighting against their own school for their basic free-speech rights," Hawkins said, adding that the administrators are either "willfully ignorant or deliberately anti-free speech against pro-life students."
Fredette’s attorneys have sent a letter to administrators informing the school that their actions are "unconstitutional and must be reversed."
Fredette's younger brother, Isaiah, is now a 7th grader at Rio Rancho Middle School and like his brother is working to start the pro-life club his older brother was denied.
"Should the school deny Isaiah Fredette's renewed request for permission to start Phoenixes for Life, that would similarly violate his constitutionally guaranteed liberties," Mannix said.
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