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School supports anti-gun protest, but not pro-life walkout

High school junior Brandon Gillespie learned Friday that administrators at his school would not accommodate a pro-life student walkout the same way they did an anti–gun violence demonstration last month.

In a statement released Monday, administrators for a Northern California school district said a pro-life demonstration “is not related to school and is not viewpoint neutral,” whereas the March 14 walkout in response to the deadly shooting at Parkland High School in Florida “was organized as a remembrance activity which was considered viewpoint neutral, and it was a show of unity for students as part of a national conversation concerning school safety”

In his meeting with Gillespie, Rocklin High School Principal Davis Stewart called the pro-life walkout “controversial,” Gillespie told me.

“I came right back at him [saying] the other walkout was very, very controversial,” Gillespie said. “I think everyone knows the previous walkout was for gun control. I told him it was being advertised as a gun-control walkout.”

The Life Legal Defense Foundation sent Stewart a letter on Monday, requesting equal treatment for Gillespie at Wednesday’s pro-life walkout.

“RHS may wish to review its policies regarding expressive activity like student walkouts, but Brandon Gillespie is going to conduct his activity in the same manner as the previous walkout and expects to be treated in the exact same manner as the students who participated in the gun walkout,” wrote Allison K. Aranda, senior staff counsel for the nonprofit law firm that defends First Amendment rights. “I am writing to you in order to ensure that Brandon’s First Amendment and Equal Protection rights are safeguarded.”

Read more at World Mag. 

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