High school students across the country have been quite obedient over the last few weeks to the direction of the mainstream media, left-leaning teachers, and parents who support their right to march against whatever is politically expedient for the gun-grabbing agenda.
However, at a California high school where one teacher was put on administrative leave for asking her students if they thought a walkout should be allowed to protest abortion, one student has decided to boldly test the school’s double-standard when it comes to student activism and the First Amendment.
“Along with being a movement commemorating the millions of children who fell victim to abortion, this movement is one that stands for all students’ right to freedoms of speech and assembly,” Rocklin High School student Brandon Gillespie told the National Review.
Gillespie is meeting with the principal of his school to discuss his plans to lead an April 11th walkout at his school, which was happy to accommodate students who walked out of class on March 14th to protest guns and memorialize the students slaughtered in Parkland.
He plans to ask administrators for the exact same thing those students asked for–to allow students 17 minutes outside of class to demonstrate their opposition to abortion. He is hoping to be joined by students across the country.
“We hope this movement inspires all students nationwide, regardless of their view on the abortion issue, to stand up for what they believe in,” he said.
Gillespie was inspired by his teacher, Julianne Benzel, who was placed on administrative leave for asking her students if they thought the school would allow a walk out for pro-life students the same way they had for anti-gun students.
Benzel has returned to class, a fact which she attributes to the significant community pushback the school received for her forced leave after her completely valid, albeit highly provocative, question.
She says she’s proud of Gillespie, who she says is “literally is trying to answer my question.”
“I’m thrilled that he’s going to not only actively engage, but also that he’s going to challenge,” she says.
The movement is likely to face adversity, as Rockland High School has a history of prohibiting pro-life demonstrations on campus, and other students say they have no right to protest because it “has nothing to do with school.”
“They have their First Amendment, they can go protest about that anytime anywhere,” said Naeirika Neev, editor of the school newspaper.
“Neev is promoting the gun-control initiative in the newspaper but has avoided saying anything against abortion,” the National Review notes.
So far, Gillespie has the support of national right to life groups who are familiar with the challenges of standing up against abortion on school campuses.
“Brandon Gillespie is a terrific example of the passion this pro-life generation has, and his courageous effort to draw attention to the reality that more lives have been lost in our generation to abortion than all other causes should be national news,” Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins told National Review. “Having opened to door to student-led walkouts as a way to express a political or cultural viewpoint, schools cannot shut that door to pro-life students who also are moved by the loss of life and horrific realities of the toll of abortion….Pro-life students deserve the same respect and accommodation that anti-gun student activists experienced.”
Brandon has asked for those who want to join his movement to follow along with the hashtag #Life. Let’s show this brave young man some support and solidarity!