After one of his teachers was suspended for asking if the school would be as supportive of a pro-life protest as they were over a gun control protest, a student at Rocklin High School in California is planning to test her theory.
AP history teacher Julianne Benzel was put on paid administrative leave after she presented a question to her class about the fairness of the school’s support for the National School Walkout over gun violence.
“I just kind of used the example, which I know it’s really controversial," she told KOVR-TV, "but I know it was the best example I thought of at the time — a group of students nationwide, or even locally, decided ‘I want to walk out of school for 17 minutes’ and go in the quad area and protest abortion, would that be allowed by our administration?”
The school quickly reacted, citing “several complaints from parents and students” as the reason behind Benzel’s suspension. While the school has since backed down and Benzel has been allowed back in the classroom, the controversy still remains.
The organizer of the planned pro-life walkout, Brandon Gillespie, said the event was meant “to honor all the lives of aborted babies pretty much. All the millions of aborted babies every year.”
Gillespie said that he “would like to see if there really is a double standard and what will come of that.” He’s trying to gain support for his idea by using the hashtag #life.
When is he meeting with the principal?
Gillespie is scheduled to meet with the school’s principal on Friday, to discuss whether the walkout will be permitted. The date for the walkout itself has not yet been scheduled.
“I am impressed beyond belief because he — and I just want to be clear that I never advocated, I asked a question, and it came to his mind because he actually understood my question and he actually thought, and he’s like, ‘Hmmm. I wonder if this administration would,’" Benzel said. "And he had the courage and the audacity to make an appointment and see what they say.”
She pointed out that the American Civil Liberties Union “loves to do test cases” like this one, although usually from a liberal perspective.
Gillespie will be interviewed on Glenn Beck's radio program on Thursday.