Skip to comments.Lee County girl can't hand out anti-abortion info at school
Posted on 07/03/2005 11:11:51 AM PDT by wagglebee
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A federal judge refused to allow a 15-year-old girl to distribute anti-abortion pamphlets at school, saying the divisive issue could turn the hallways into a "battlefield."
Cypress Lake Middle School eighth-grader Michelle Heinkel wanted to hand out the literature to classmates on a "day of remembrance" for abortion victims - despite being barred last year because the Lee County school district's blanket policy bans student distribution of pamphlets.
In a 21-page order, U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington on Friday ruled that if the school board allowed Heinkel to disseminate the pamphlets, then they would have to allow abortion rights advocates to distribute theirs.
"Permitting pro-life and pro-choice literature to be distributed by students in the school hallways would turn the school hallways into a battlefield," Covington wrote in the order.
However, Covington said that its policy banning advertising is unconstitutional. The policy does not allow ads on campuses that may be obscene, libelous, political, religious or proselytizing.
"The policy operates to exclude materials that deal with an otherwise permissible subject solely because the materials address the subject from a religious viewpoint," Covington wrote. "For this reason ... the policy is unconstitutional."
Heinkel's attorney Mathew D. Staver said he was surprised at Covington's ruling and said it would be appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
Keith Martin, the school board's attorney, said the board will continue the legal battle if necessary.
Heinkel went to court on March 26, 2004, asking U.S. District Judge John E. Steele to issue an emergency order to allow her to distribute the pamphlets. Steele denied the request and the case was later assigned to Covington.
But...but...I thought the left wanted free speech??
For their side only, doncha know...
This isn't even an abortion matter. This is trampling free speech yet again.
If she was handing out an instruction DVD showing how to put a condom on a cucumber, she'd be awarded with a school parade and the "student of the year" award.
Well, he did say they wouldnt let the pro-abortion groups hand out anything either. So I guess its fair at least.
It's a school. They should be there to learn, not to debate.
Unless of course you count the pro-death curriculum taught in the classrooms.
Perhaps they could discuss those mythical "victims of back-alley abortions" from the "bad old days" when mothers weren't allowed to kill their own children.
Sad but true.
"They should be there to learn, not to debate."
I'm so confused.
It's a public school. The 1st Amend guarantee of free speech applies.
Killing babies and gay marriage are the two sacraments of the Left. They believe in them with religious fervor.
They have recently added involuntary starvation and dehydration of the infirmed to that list.
"It's a school. They should be there to learn, not to debate."
hmmmm, I was on the debate team in school.
Weird, eh? It's a school....and there'll be no critical thinking goin' on in here!
This is the appropriate result, in my opinion, according to supreme court jurisprudence. As long as it's a blanket prohibition on distributing any and all pamphlets, that's a content neutral restriction on free speech. Additionally, schools have been held by the Court to not be public forums for speech, since restricting speech there can serve an important government interest (you know...kids learning to spell).
Just a comment on the jurisprudence...nothing more...
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