Students Suspended From Catholic School For Pro-Choice Activism
In a rare turn of events, some Canadian students were removed from class for sporting pro-choice messages in their Catholic school.
Via the Globe and Mail:
The anti-abortion message her schoolmates wore inspired Alexandria Szeglet to don her opinion too. Instead of the word “life” written along strips of red tape, the 15-year-old Thunder Bay resident wore the word “choice” written on strips of green tape stuck to her Catholic high school uniform.
She was minutes into her first-period drama class last Thursday at St. Patrick High School when she was called to the office and sent home.
Alexandria left, but the soft-spoken Grade 10 student had started a movement: In a show of solidarity, 24 of her peers followed suit, adhering green tape to their uniforms. Four of them were also sent home, some for a two-day suspension.
Szeglet and her supporters were responding to the school’s annual “Day of Silent Solidarity” event being held to protest abortion rights. According to the school, because the pro-life demonstration was sanctioned, and the pro-choice students did not get prior permission, they were punished for their activism.
According to UPI:
John De Faveri, director of education with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, told the newspaper it wasn’t the message but how it was conveyed.
“It wasn’t anything about what the students were trying to say. It was the inappropriate way they went about it,” he said. “They didn’t get approval from the school.”
Ann Szeglet, Alexandria’s mother, told the Globe it seemed religion had trumped democracy.
“My opinion is that if they don’t want to allow both sides to express their opinion. They shouldn’t allow either one of them,” she said.