by Steven Ertelt
October 19, 2006
Detroit, MI (LifeNews.com) — Schools around the country are preparing for a national day for students to protest abortion and the destruction of human life and devastation on women that it has caused. Although some schools are ready for the special day, others are getting calls form parents who don’t want their children exposed to the pro-life perspective.
Some parents of students at Howell High School and Hutchings Elementary in the Detroit area are upset that students will be wearing t-shirts and armbands during the scheduled protest Tuesday.
Typically the national event involves junior high, high school and college students.
Amy Jacobs, whose twin sons attend kindergarten at Hutchings, told the Detroit News she doesn’t want them exposed to a message about abortion.
"I think abortion is a sensitive topic," she said. "I don’t think I should have to explain that stuff when they just turned 6."
The Virginia-based Stand True Ministries sponsors the national day, in which students remain silent during their time in school and distribute pro-life literature to people who want to know why they are silent. The event is done to help students understand that unborn children have no voice in the abortion debate.
Lynn Parrish, assistant superintendent of labor relations and personnel for the school district, told the News that students must participate in class activities — and Stand True encourages students who must talk during the day to wear armbands.
Parrish said she spent the day yesterday answering calls from parents.
"They do not want their children drawn into discussions about that," she told the newspaper. "That is the part that upset most of my callers."
Howell school board member Wendy Day told the Livingston newspaper she believes the school should support the students’ right to free speech even though she doesn’t support the protest.
“I hope these kids are supported as they exercise their freedom of speech,” Day commented. “Give up your voice for those who have no voice.”
Brian Kemper, president and founder of Stand True Ministries, said this is the third year the protest has been held and he has information on how students can participate and what legal rights they have.
“We explain to the students the rules and we post guidelines,” he said. “We let teachers know in advance. We know that it is going to draw attention, but that is the whole idea.”
He told the Livingston newspaper that pro-life students should resist efforts from school administrators to prevent them from participating.
“They’ve tried to, but they are not successful,” he said. “The schools will try to intimidate the students, but they have the right to stand up and do this.”