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First Amendment

Suit Spurs School to Recognize Pro-Life Club

Posted Nov 6, 2007 12:53 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Virginia teen has dropped her lawsuit after school officials agreed to recognize her Pro-Life Club.

Sixteen-year-old Stephanie Hoffmeier filed suit in Alexandria federal court in September after officials at Colonial Forge High School turned down her request for recognition, the Washington Post reports.

The club’s mission is to encourage abstinence and oppose abortion. "We just wanted the same rights as other clubs," Hoffmeier told the Post.

School officials originally banned the club because it had no ties to the school curriculum. But they switched course Oct. 24, saying their initial determination was incorrect.

The Alliance Defense Fund helped with the lawsuit. It has handled hundreds of cases involving school bans on religious speech. Once school officials allow clubs, “allowing a religious club in the mix does not promote religion," said Alliance lawyer David Cortman.

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