ST. PAUL, MN – Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit Friday on behalf of a 6th-grade student after a Minnesota public school prohibited her from distributing pro-life fliers to her classmates during non-instructional time.
“Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas,” said Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. “The law on this is extremely clear: free speech cannot be censored simply because it expresses a certain viewpoint that administrators don’t favor. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech for all students, regardless of their religious or political beliefs.”
In late February, the 6th-grade student and her friends at Nova Classical Academy peacefully handed out pro-life fliers at lunchtime to friends and classmates interested in the topic. One of the fliers read, “Save the baby humans. Stop abortion.”
A few days later, they were called into the school director’s office and told that some students find pro-life fliers offensive and that they were no longer allowed to pass them out during or after school hours, even if students requested them. School policy also requires students to obtain “prior approval from an administrator” before engaging in free speech.