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Lehigh Valley

National law firm defends students after Parkland High School denies pro-life club

National law firm defends students...

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A national legal firm is taking up the case for two Lehigh County students who say they were told they could not start a pro-life club at Parkland High School.

Parkland students Elizabeth Castro and Grace Schairer are classmates, friends and passionate about the same thing. They're both pro life.

"Very personal in my heart. My mom told me when she was pregnant with my younger brother she was pushed to have an abortion because she had bladder stones," said Castro.

But her mom refused to get an abortion. Now Castro is outspoken on the issue, so much so, she wanted to start a school club.

"My club would be a pro-life club at Parkland High School," she said.

Despite drafting a proposal and getting teacher sponsorship, the students were told they couldn't start their club.

"I was told my club was too controversial and too political. I was a little shaken up but I knew exactly what to do and how to get there," Castro said.

Castro and Schairer said they sent a follow-up email to the school's assistant principal asking what they had to do to get their club going, but never heard back.

The girls sought legal backing with help from the national Students for Life Group. The Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based non-profit legal firm, sent a letter Wednesday to the district saying it is in violation of the First Amendment, the Equal Access Act and its own policies.

The letter demands the district reverses its decision to deny the club.

"I really hope they make the right decision, if they don't, we're gonna have to look into more possibilities and options. Legal action? More possibilities and options," Castro said.

A district spokesperson said the district is reviewing the matter and will "respond in due course."

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