Indiana pro-life advocates are voicing their support for a South Bend teacher who was punished after inviting a pro-life organization to give a presentation to a high school health class.
Jackie Appleman of Right to Life Michiana defended the teacher in an interview with One News Now. She said the teacher invited her organization to give the presentation as they do with many other student groups.
“This was a typical presentation that we give,” Appleman told One News Now. “It’s actually geared towards eighth graders, but we will tailor it towards different audiences – and in this presentation, we share medical and scientific facts about fetal development and abortion procedures.”
Earlier this week, district leaders placed the Clay High School teacher on administrative leave because they said the presentation by Right to Life Michiana violated school policies, the South Bend Tribune reported.
A district spokesperson said teachers are required to seek approval from the principal if they want outside speakers to come into the classroom. According to the district, school policy also requires that parents be notified in advance and sign permission slips.
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School officials said the teacher did not do either.
Appleman said she believes politics is the reason why the teacher is being punished.
“This teacher wasn’t trying to go behind anybody’s back,” she told One News Now. “This teacher is truly being targeted for, what I would assume, political reasons.”
“Some people who do not appreciate our organization got wind of this and shared it and basically incited an online mob to attack the presentation and harass the school,” she continued.
Appleman said they share biological facts and community resources in their presentations to students, information that should not be controversial.
“Since we were presenting in a public school, we did not pray, we did not talk about religion [or] the political nature of abortion,” she said. “We stuck very specifically to the facts about fetal development and abortion procedures and then shared those resources available to families and students and women in the community.”
The pro-life organization has given presentations to students in the school district in the past, and they never received a complaint, she said.
It appears that school leaders learned about the presentation after Right to Life Michiana posted about it on Facebook; local residents saw the post and got upset.
The problem that school officials raised was with authorization, not the content of the presentation. Superintendent Todd Cummings said they are conducting an investigation.
“We want to reassure our students, families, and community that we are taking this matter seriously and are grateful it was brought to our attention,” Cummings said in a statement. “While we are committed to addressing the health and safety needs of all of our students, policies, protocols, multiple perspectives, and parent notifications need to be followed to ensure the continued trust of our families.”
Both pro-life and pro-abortion groups give presentations in public and private schools across the country. Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in the U.S., brags that it is “the single largest provider of sex education in the United States.”
Numerous news reports in recent years have aired parents’ complaints about not being informed that Planned Parenthood would be giving presentations to their students. Concerned parents in Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, California, Washington state, New York, North Carolina and other parts of the country have protested Planned Parenthood’s involvement in their students’ education in the past several years.
In one recent case, parents at a Pennsylvania school said a Planned Parenthood partner group taught seventh-grade students graphic details about oral sex during a science class.
Among its worst teaching points, Planned Parenthood tells children that promiscuity is ok. “There’s nothing bad or unhealthy about having a big number of sexual partners,” it tells students on its Tumbler page.
Planned Parenthood’s booklet for HIV-positive youth, “Healthy, Happy and Hot,” tells young people that it is their “human right” to not tell their sexual partner that they have HIV. And its middle school sex education curriculum teaches children as young as 12 “how to perform oral and anal sex.”