by Steven Ertelt
October 21, 2009
Petersborough, Canada (LifeNews.com) — The story of a pro-life student in Canada is generating concerns for the pro-life group that sponsored the recent Pro-Life Silent Day of Solidarity. Jennifer Rankin arrived at Peninsula Shores ready to participate in the event but found herself placed in isolation.
Hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates joined the silent day on Tuesday wearing red tape on their mouths or red armbands to protest the millions of abortions that take place in Canada and the United States.
Rankin joined them by wearing red tape and preparing to pass out a flier to anyone who asked her why she would remain silent throughout the school day.
Instead, a school principal alerted police and met Rankin and her mother at the entrance where she told them that the protest is not welcome at the school. Ultimately, school officials allowed Rankin into the building but kept her in isolation away from other students.
“I was taken directly into a small room that was opposite the vice-principal’s office and I was in there all day,” Rankin told the Petersborough Examiner newspaper. “I wasn’t allowed to speak with or see any other students and students were not allowed to come and see me and I was isolated in that room for the entire day.”
She told the paper that she feels she was subject to unfair discrimination because of her pro-life views.
“I felt very discriminated by it. I don’t think it was right at all what happened,” Rankin said.
School principal Pat Cavan told the Examiner that the protest violated school policy.
“School property is not a public place,” Cavan said. “So while absolutely we support the right to free speech in a public space, that’s not school property.”
Cavan said she told Rankin about how she could not participate in the protest days in advance and Rankin was the only student to show interest after school officials stopped her and her friends last year.
Bryan Kemper, the head of Stand True ministries, the national sponsor of the Silent Day campaign, told LifeNews.com he is disappointed by the incident.
“What happened to Jennifer is atrocious and the principal of the school should be charged with child abuse. The punishment he gave Jennifer is that of a criminal charged with a violent crime, not a young girl who was speaking out for life and against violence,” he said.
“I am in shock that the principal would be standing there with police cruisers waiting to arrest a child for voicing an opinio. This honestly sounds like a plot to some futuristic movie, this can’t be the times we live in now can it?” he added.
Kemper called Jennifer a “true hero who should be applauded for her courage and willingness to sacrifice.”
“I would be so proud if my daughters turned out as amazing as Jennifer,” he said
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