National Pro-Life Chalk Day

By Marisa Kaplita Editor-in-Chief Thursday night, a BHS student wrote several pro-life statements in chalk on the sidewalk entrance to the school. But when students arrived Friday morning, September 7, the sidewalks were clean. This act of expression was part of The National Pro-Life Chalk Day which was founded by The Students for Life of America organization.  This organization’s mission is to “educating students about the issues of abortion, euthanasia, and infanticide” and promotes student activity amongst their communities. Student Sam Bailey-Loomis, class of 2014, wrote the messages. "All I want to do is get the message across to as many people as I can that being pro life is OK, and that I defend the rights of the unborn. It is NOT something that can be ignored, and I feel that only WE can defend the rights of the unborn, and that's what I'm here to do: speak for those who can't" Bailey-Loomis said. Principal Lee Panagoulias said that the messages were erased because "we are a public building, and anything written on a public building is defacement of public property regardless of the message." The Guide states that “students may exercise their constitutionally protected rights of free speech and assembly as long as they do not interfere with the operations of the regular school program." In addition, “It is clearly the intention of the Board of Education to promote the dissemination of diverse viewpoints and to foster discussion of all political and social issues” which means no students have to be afraid of expressing themselves. However, a student's right to free speech in a school is different from those in a public place. For example, if students wanted to have an Occupy Branford High School, they would not have the same freedom of speech rights as those protesters on Wall Street. And now that  it is almost time to vote for a new President of the United States a lot of opinions about different political issues are being brought to the table and disgusted;  even Twitter is being used for the back and forth debate of important presidential issues. Being able to freely communicate one’s ideas at an early age demonstrates the focus of Branford High School; they want us to grow up as leaders and debaters and questioners of our world. Never stop questioning the things in your life and don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, because “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”- Alexander Hamilton