Friday, May 4, 2012

Pro-Life Students First Amendment Rights Not Being Upheld At Western Kentucky University

One News Now--In a letter [PDF] to university officials, Travis Barham of Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) complains that officials and the teacher of Elaina Smith, the art student who vandalized the crosses, were aware that this was going to occur, yet they did nothing to stop it. He points out that it is the duty of university officials to protect students' First Amendment rights, not "passively allow them to be violated."

"The university has really been disappointing in the way that it has condoned, slipped under the rug, ignored the defacing of these pro-life crosses," Barham laments.

Approximately 3,700 crosses were placed in an old football stadium by Hilltoppers for Life to represent the number of abortions performed daily in the United States. The art student draped the crosses with condoms in protest. Though the pro-lifers confronted her and asked her to stop, she refused, claiming she was completing an approved art assignment. Her teacher, Dr. Kristina Arnold, knew of Smith's proposed vandalism and did not disapprove. When campus security was called to the scene, they apparently did nothing to help.

While ADF asserts in its letter that it desires to "resolve this matter amicably," the firm is prepared to take "whatever action necessary" to ensure the protection of its clients' rights.

"We're asking the campus security officers to apologize for not intervening," Barham reports. "We're asking the professor to apologize for not stopping this ahead of time, when she knew that it was going to happen. We're asking that the student apologize, and we're asking that the university assure us that she will not receive credit for this act."

The university has refused the legal group's requests, so ADF is weighing a possible lawsuit.
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