Students and chaperones at a Catholic school in Greenville, South Carolina, were kicked out of the National Air and Space Museum for wearing pro-life hats.
According to the American Center for Law and Justice, a security guard at the museum told them to remove their hats because it was a “neutral zone”.
Two of their employees were also allegedly harassed.
Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum kicks out Catholic students for wearing pro-life hats
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The Smithsonian acknowledged the mistake and staff are now undergoing “immediate retraining.”
Staff at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum had to undergo “immediate retraining” after a group of visiting students during the annual March for Life in D.C. were kicked out of the museum for refusing to remove their hats that featured pro-life messages. on them
The incident occurred on January 20, when a group of students from a Catholic school in Greenville, South Carolina, visiting the nation’s capital for the annual pro-life march, decided to stop at the museum. They were all donning blue beanies with the words “Rosary, PRO-LIFE” emblazoned on them at the time.
At one point, a security officer told the students that their hats were not allowed inside the museum, but the children refused to take them off. As a result, they were eventually forced to leave the museum.
“We regret that spectators were asked to remove their hats. Asking visitors to remove hats and dresses is not consistent with our policy or protocol,” Smithsonian Institution chief spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas told The National Desk (TND). “We immediately provided retraining to prevent a recurrence of this type of error.”
A case has been filed against the National Air and Space Museum.
Fox News reported:
A prominent Christian legal organization has filed a lawsuit on behalf of parents and Catholic school students who were kicked out of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum last month for wearing pro-life hats.
American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), late Tuesday ‘Christy L. v. National Air and Space Museum’ announced the lawsuit, alleging that the Smithsonian “targeted, harassed” and “ostracized” a dozen Catholic high school students and their chaperones on Jan. 20 for wearing beanies emblazoned with a pro-life message.
According to the ACLJ, museum staff mocked the students, hurled abuse at them and claimed that the museum was a “neutral zone” where political or religious messages were prohibited.
The lawsuit details a confrontation between staff and students, some of whom are minors. As they walked toward a demonstration, two employees allegedly said, “The f-king is pro-life. What a bunch of st.”
The reason explains why the “neutral zone” argument will not apply in this case.
Procedurally, this can affect who and what can be sued here.
The actual legal analysis, though, is simple. A “non-public forum” inside a government-run museum where the government can impose reasonable, viewpoint-neutral restrictions as property owner. A rule prohibiting “fake,” “shit,” etc., on clothing worn inside a museum, for example, may be constitutional, because it appears to be viewpoint-neutral—albeit content-based—and can be seen as reasonable.
But a rule prohibiting an on-the-spot action by a public servant that supposedly “does not promote equality” is viewpoint-based, and thus cannot be applied to visitors to nonpublic forums even on public property.
This is clear discrimination against pro-life students.
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