GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) – The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), a Christian-based legal organization, said they are representing five students and two parents following an incident at the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum.
ACLJ said on Friday, Jan. 20, a group of students, parents and teachers from a Catholic school in Greenville were attending the 50th Annual National March for Life in Washington, DC.
After the march, the law firm said some of the students and adults visited the Smithsonian where the group was told to remove their matching hats that had “Rosary PRO-LIFE” written on them. After going through security and seeing other people in the museum with hats on, many of the group put their hats back on.
ACLJ mentioned the students were required to wear these hats as a basic safety protocol so that the group could be located and kept together.
According to the law firm, the group was confronted several times by museum staff and told to remove their hats because they were “political speech”. The group was eventually kicked out by a security guard because they continued to wear the hats.
Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School confirmed that the students involved in the incident were from their school.
Every year thousands of young people march for Life as a witness to their pro life Catholic faith,” Dwight Longenecker, the Pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Church, said. “They have the constitutional freedom of religion and freedom of speech to do so. We regret that these children were harassed by members of the Smithsonian staff, and are grateful that the management have taken steps to ensure that this behavior is not repeated.”
The ACLJ, who is currently representing five students and two parents who were a part of that group, said it anticipates retaining even more clients with regard to this matter.
“We are still in the fact gathering stages, but are appalled at the behavior of the museum employees, their demands that the students remove their hats simply because of the pro-life message written on them, and their subsequent actions to kick the students out of the museum,” said the law firm. “We are exploring all possible legal actions that may be taken on behalf of our clients, and will be taking that legal action in the near future.”
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