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Political double standard': Pro-life walkout not supported like gun control protest by school

Brandon Gillespie, a student at Rocklin High School in California, said the pro-life protest he organized isn't being supported as much as last month's gun control protest. Gillespie will be joined by students from more than 200 other schools Wednesday who will walk out of class for 17 minutes to silently pray and mourn the loss of babies aborted at Planned Parenthood facilities. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A California high school student organized a pro-life walkout at his school to see whether administrators would grant the same support as they did for last month's gun control walkout. On the eve of the walkout, he said the school's response proves there is a "political double standard," according to the Federalist.

What's the story?

Brandon Gillespie attends Rocklin High School in California, where a teacher was placed on administrative leave for several days after questioning whether a walkout protesting abortion would be received the same by the school as a protest for gun control.

The teacher, Julianne Benzel, said at the time that she was simply trying to get her students to think and discuss the issue as an intellectual exercise.

"And so I just kind of used the example, which I know it's really controversial, 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?" Benzel said last month, according to KOVR-TV.

A school spokesperson released a statement saying Benzel was not sent home for her beliefs, but because of complaints from students and parents.

Gillespie, intrigued by Benzel's line of questioning, organized a pro-life walkout to see how the school would respond.

How was his idea received?

Gillespie and Rocklin High School will be joined by students from more than 200 other schools (high school and college) Wednesday who will walk out of class for 17 minutes to silently pray and mourn the loss of babies aborted at Planned Parenthood facilities.

Gillespie said he has not been supported in his endeavor the same way the gun control protesters were during the pro-gun control National School Walkout organized by Women's March Youth EMPOWER.

From the Federalist:

“I asked for the same accommodation as the anti-gun protest, that teachers would be flexible in their lesson planning, and also for the availability of equipment that the anti-gun protestors were allowed to use,” Gillespie said in a statement. “I really was not surprised when they told me that they were not going to give me the accommodations and that they were not going to sanction this walkout as they did the previous one. It just confirms for me that there is a political double standard, at least in my school district, but I’m still going to be out there.”

More about the walkout

The nationwide pro-life walkout is being coordinated by Students for Life of America, an organization that serves more than 1,200 student groups across the nation.

"Inspired by courageous pro-life students in Sacramento, CA, it's time for the #ProLifeGen to stand up and say, 'Enough is Enough!'" the website reads. "We will no longer tolerate legal abortion in our nation, which has killed more than a fourth of our generation. We will no longer watch as our leaders in Washington continue to fund our nation's largest abortion vendor, Planned Parenthood, with more than $500 million of our taxpayer dollars."

"We will kneel and pray for the end of legal abortion in our nation."

One last thing…
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