Military School Must Salute Pro-life Free Speech

Dec 22, 2017

fter Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a public charter school, responded with assurances that it will require teachers to respect the First Amendment right of pro-life citizens to speak on public sidewalks on behalf of abstinence and the rights of the unborn. However, a follow-up letter was necessary to again correct the record of false allegations by SMA staff about Liberty Counsel’s clients.

Liberty Counsel represents Bill Calvin and others with the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform in Sarasota who engage members of the public, including high school students, on public sidewalks within Sarasota’s legal “public forum,” as is their right, regarding the Christian faith, abstinence, and the humanity of pre-born children. They do so via outreach efforts, including personal conversations, literature distribution, and the display of signs on public sidewalks as part of the Center’s Abortion Awareness Project. Liberty Counsel’s clients’ goal is to display the humanity of preborn children, and reach current and future voters as they believe that preborn children should receive the full protection of the law, because they are human beings made in the image of God. 

Since school resumed in August, there have been at least three instances of SMA employees violating Liberty Counsel’s clients’ protected speech rights. Sarasota Military Academy staff, in uniform, have been confiscating literature from students, and instructing them not to talk to Mr. Calvin and the others, all while SMA staff are on school time and acting in their official capacity.

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