16-year-old high school student Jennifer Rankin fully intended to unite her voicelessness with that of the unborn as part of the annual Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity when she arrived at school yesterday, reports Bill Henry of Sun Media.
She was impeded, however, by her school principal, who stated that the right to free speech does not apply on school property and who forced Rankin to remain in isolation for the entire day as long as she participated in the event.
Rankin, 16, arrived at Peninsula Shores District School in Wiarton, Ontario yesterday morning, with the red tape over her mouth and with the simple word ‘life’ written upon it. She and her mother were stopped at the door, however, by school principal Patricia Cavan, while police cruisers stood nearby. Cavan initially told Rankin that she could not enter school property, but then consented to allowing her in the building, separated from other students.
“I was taken directly into a small room that was opposite the vice-principal’s office and I was in there all day,” Rankin told Sun Media. “I wasn’t allowed to speak with or see any other students and students were not allowed to come and see me and I was isolated in that room for the entire day.”
[…]The youth pastor at Rankin’s church, Ken Holley, expressed disappointment and insisted that the school’s actions violated her rights. “It’s a day of silence and basically they lose their voice for those that never had a voice,” he said. “It’s pro-life. There’s no arguing. They can’t talk all day. They just stay silent and if anybody asks why they’re silent they hand out a little sheet that says this is why.”
[…]Cavan, who did not return a message left by LifeSiteNews.com, told Sun Media that the right to free speech does not apply on school property. “School property is not a public place,” she said. “So while absolutely we support the right to free speech in a public space, that’s not school property.” She said that school policy prohibits the dissemination of one-sided information on religious, political, or other issues that are controversial.
Pastor Holley pointed out that the school does an annual ‘Gay Pride’ day “where everybody wears pink shirts,” and that the school allows nude pictures on the wall to stand as ‘art’.
It’s strange because this school is located in a tiny town in a very rural area, hundreds of miles from any major city. I would think that a rural school would not be so backward as to thwart basic human rights like free speech. Oh well. It’s Ontario, Canada. Land of Chief Censor Jennifer Lynch and the Canadian Human Rights Commissions. You can read more about how Canada discriminates against Christians here. You can read more about how Canada discriminates against pro-lifers here.
UPDATE: It’s happening here! Student sues for right to wear pro-life shirt (via Ruth Institute Blog)