School principal snatches sign from pro-life protester

Dec 10, 2016 by

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Fort Wayne high school principal Carlton Mable demonstrated what he thinks about free speech recently when he trashed signs for a pro-life group demonstrating near South Side High School.

The Thomas More Society is demanding an apology from Mable and Fort Wayne Community Schools – and assurances from the city to protect free speech rights – over a video that shows Mable’s tirade against members of Created Equal, a pro-life group that toted signs and passed out literature in the public right of way in front of the school on Nov. 18, Life News reports.

The video shows Mable aggressively approach the pro-life advocates and demand they leave “school property” before getting physical with the camera man.

“Get them off my property,” Mable said of the group’s signs, which illustrated the reality of abortion.

“Hey, you’re recording me? I’m not going to be happy. You understand me?” he continued. “Please remove those signs off school property.”

The man recording the incident attempted to explain that the group was in fact on public property adjacent to the district-owned school, but Mable wasn’t having it.

“No, no, no, off school property,” the principal insisted. “Get these signs off my property.”

“You can’t approach my kids,” he said. “Take your stuff and get off my school property.”

The demonstrators then flagged down a police officer, who confirmed Mable was overstepping his authority. At one point, Marble allegedly tossed at least one of the signs into the street.

Once an officer explained to Mable that he had no right to heckle the Created Equal group, the principal changed his tune.

“To me, I would consider all of this pornographic,” Mable told the officer of the unborn children on the signs. “These pictures – this is pornographic to me.”

The roughly three minute video, posted to YouTube by Created Equal Films, ends with a message.

“This principal’s behavior is another example of what’s occurring on high school and college campuses across America,” it read. “Shielding young adults from difficult subject matters, like abortion, does not prepare them for the real world.

“Attempts to censor us will not succeed. We are considering legal action against this school district. More to come.”

Attorney Thomas M. Dixon, special council for the Thomas More Society, sent a follow up letter to the Fort Wayne School Board on Dec. 2 that threatens legal action if district officials refuse to make things right, Life News reports.

“Principal Mable trampled on rights that are enshrined in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Articles 2, 3, 4 and 9 of the Indiana Constitution, and are fiercely protected by the United States Supreme Court,” the letter read.

“Our clients insist on the respect to which they are entitled. We seek written apologies from Principal Mable and School Board Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson, assurances from the School Board that this will not happen again, and guarantees from the City of Fort Wayne that it will continue to uphold free speech rights.”

The letter alleges Mable “forcefully took our clients’ property from them and threw it in the street.”

Mark Harrington, national director for Created Equal, also issued a statement.

“Pro-life activists have been experiencing an increase in vandalism and violence at high school campuses across the country. Unfortunately, to some school officials, public sidewalks are considered their own private property in which they feel they can wield control and censor free speech,” he said.

“Creating unconstitutional ‘safe zones’ in the public square where students can be shielded from unpleasant subjects does a disservice to our youth, and does not prepare these young adults for the real world.”

Harrington told the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel the group’s goal “is to get around to every (high) school in the Fort Wayne area,” and activists have already visited South Side, Northrop and Snider high schools.

FWCS public information officer Krista Stockman complained about the campaign and said district officials “don’t understand why our schools are being targeted by this group.”

“People who see this video, what they are seeing is a principal who wants to keep his kids safe,” she said.

Harrington countered that young adults need information about abortion because they’re one the most sexually active demographics in America, they account for about half of all abortions, and “they also are the future leaders and decision-makers of our country,” the News-Sentinel reports.

He said the group uses graphic images to convey a serious message that will resonate with teens.

“We don’t shout at people, we don’t force information on people,” he said. “We are there to have a conversation.”

Source: VIDEO: School principal snatches sign from pro-life protester | EAGnews.org

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