A South Dakota anti-abortion group filed suit against the Rapid City school district on Monday in response to the school's repeated refusal to allow the group to use a middles school auditorium. The Rapid City Journal reports that the anti-abortion group Citizens for Life, led by Allen Carlson, is claiming viewpoint discrimination and violation of free speech.
School policy states that all nonprofit groups can use school buildings for educational or charitable events as long as the events don't conflict with established policies or laws, according to the Daily Women's Health Policy Report. However, school policy also prohibits the use of school buildings for political purposes.
Carlson claims that he requested to use the middle school auditorium on several occasions throughout the past three years, but each time his requests were denied. According to the Associated Press, the school denied Carlson's request due to the controversial nature of his anti-abortion group. Carlson requested use of the school building in 2006 to host an event in favor of the controversial abortion ban initiative that was defeated later that year. This year, Carlson requested access to the auditorium to host an anti-abortion event in favor of a abortion ban referendum featuring speaker Joe Scheidler, director of the Pro-Life Action League.
The lawyer for the school district told The Rapid City Journal that the policy is solid and "meets the requirements under the law." The school district plans to file a response to the law suit.
Media Resources: Daily Women's Health Policy Report 02/07/08; Associated Press 02/05/08; The Rapid City Journal 02/06/08; Feminist Daily News Wire 06/20/06; Feminist Daily News Wire 11/05/07
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .