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Nobelsville High School in Indiana Hit with Free Speech Lawsuit – Legal Reader

A Noblesville High School freshman is suing the school after she was denied the ability to form a pro-life club.
Noblesville High School in Indiana is under fire in a lawsuit filed by a freshman student. According to the student, Noblesville High School and Noblesville Schools violated his free speech rights and used intimidation tactics against him. The suit was filed by Charitable Allies, Inc. on behalf of the student, who is referred to as E.D. in court documents because she’s a minor.

Free Speech Flag; image courtesy of John Marcotte via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.orgAccording to Students for Life of America, Charitable Allies is an “Indianapolis organization that works with nonprofits across the U.S. to assist with a variety of legal issues, including incorporation, tax issues, personnel and HR issues, board governance and training, and litigation support.”
The defendants include Supt. Beth Niedermeyer, NHS Principal Craig McCaffrey, NHS Assistant Principal Janae Mobley, NHS Assistant Principal Daniel Swafford, NHS dean Jeremy Luna and other school leaders, including Alexandra Snider Pasko, Alison Rootes, Allison Schwingendorf-Haley, Byron Simpson, Elizabeth Kizer, Emily Patterson-Jackson, Grace Tuesca, and Stephanie Eads, according to the lawsuit.
What happened, though? Well, according to court documents, E.D. tried to form a club chapter for Students for Life of America back in July 2021. However, a number of school officials tried to stop her from creating the “pro-life, student-sponsored club.” In fact, officials outright denied the club’s creation and the suit alleges “alleges that teachers for Noblesville Schools then abused their positions by posting defamatory statements on social media about the student by name, including referring to the student as ‘bigoted’ and ‘misogynistic.’” 
While trying to get approval for the club, E.D. “showed school officials a flyer that “included a photo of young students in front of the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., holding signs that read, ‘We are the pro-life generation’ and ‘Defund Planned Parenthood,’” the suit notes. After seeing the pictures, “school officials allegedly became unresponsive and unavailable as she tried to get the club started.”
On top of that, the suit also argues that Noblesville High School allows other clubs and organizations unrelated to educational goals, including Young Democrats, Police Explorers, Black Student Union, Gender and Sexual Alliance, Conservation club, and more.
It’s important to note that Noblesville Schools put out a statement that said “the district offered pro-life clubs in past years, and E.D.’s club was approved, sponsored by faculty and recruiting students this year.” The statement read:
“School administration did recently have to redirect this club — not because of the beliefs of the student or mission of the club — but due to multiple instances of disregard for school protocols…All student special interest clubs must be initiated and led by students–they cannot be directed or controlled by school staff or others in the community. We’re currently working to ensure club compliance with state laws and school policy. Once the club meets these, we will reevaluate their status.”
When commenting on the lawsuit, E.D. said:
“I wanted to start this club to inspire like-minded students to advocate for our most vulnerable and point students to resources designed to uplift them in their time of need. I knew some people would disagree with me, but I never expected to be attacked online — especially by my teachers.”
Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins added:
“The degree to which adults in authority attempted to intimidate a high school freshman is astonishing… Noblesville High School officials went all out to ensure that a minor girl could not speak in their presence about her love for mothers and their children, born and preborn and that she would keep quiet at school. Parents in Noblesville must surely be concerned about school officials turning using media to attack a pro-life girl. Is this a pattern of behavior for Noblesville school officials, using the press to attack community members who share a different point of view? Viewpoint discrimination is unconstitutional in Indiana and nationwide.”  
Student files lawsuit against Noblesville Schools, alleges violation of free speech, intimidation

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