Students from across the country participated in a Pro-life Walkout Wednesday, walking out of their schools for 17 minutes of prayer and silence honoring “the 10 children who will violently die during that time at a Planned Parenthood abortion facility.”
Brandon Gillespie, a student at Rocklin High School in California, organized the event with help from Students for Life of America after his history teacher, Julianne Benzel, was suspended for two days after she questioned in class whether schools that accommodated the gun control walkout would also accommodate pro-life students.
The walkout boasted 191 high schools and 81 colleges participating across the country. According to Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins, more than 300 students or student groups participated in the event.
Participating students tweeted out pictures from the walkout Wednesday.
So honored to join students at Los Alamitos High School in LA today for the #ProLifeWalkout. Look at this awesome display they also set up to remember the 1700 that will be lost today because of #abortion! #defundPP #abolishabortion pic.twitter.com/DRvzLK18mJ— Kristan Hawkins (@KristanHawkins) April 11, 2018
“They are not giving me any accommodation at all,” he said, “except for the district policy of not punishing students for protesting. That is not the accommodation that I asked for; I asked for the same accommodation as the anti-gun protest, that teachers would be flexible their lesson planning, and also for the availability of equipment that the anti-gun protestors were allowed to use.”
“I really was not surprised when they told me that they were not going to give me the accommodations and that they were not going to sanction this walkout as they did the previous one,” he added. “It just confirms for me that there is a political double standard, at least in my school district, but I’m still going to be out there.”
Attorneys from Life Legal Defense Foundation contacted Rocklin High School Monday with an outline of the rights of the pro-life students.
“This is a blatant case of content discrimination and arbitrary favoritism,” Alexandra Snyder, Life Legal Defense Foundation’s executive director commented, “Rocklin High School’s decision to treat the Pro-life Walkout differently than the way the school treated the gun walkout violates the First Amendment and the Equal Protection rights of every student participating in the Pro-life walkout.”
The media also covered the Prolife Walkout differently than the March for Our Lives walkout.
A Newsbusters analysis found that “on Wednesday, the three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) never once mentioned the pro-life walkout during their news shows on the night of the event, April 11. In contrast, the same evening shows devoted more than 10 minutes to the gun walkout the day it happened.”