Just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you SHOULD

I got an email from my son this morning telling me that there were abortion protestors in front of his school, with large posters of aborted fetuses and other assorted gore, handing out pamphlets and trying to engage kids in discussion. They were on a public sidewalk and were well within their right to be there. Question is: should they have? Is the school an appropriate place to protest abortion, and is accosting students on their way to class with large bloody posters of dead babies an appropriate way to engage them.

To give you an idea of how bad these things are, the first time I saw them, my first reaction was actual nausea, my second reaction was to scream in horror, and my third reaction was a desire to grab one of those posters and shove it up their asses using a backhoe. I’m not just saying this as a parent who lost a child and held her stillborn in her arms, weeping. I’m saying this as a person who understands that attempting to shock, frighten and disgust 14-17 year old kids into your way of thinking is not appropriate.

According to the email I got from the school:

This morning, members of the Human Life Alliance appeared on the public sidewalk in front of Washington-Lee. They had signs and attempted to distribute flyers and to engage students in discussion. No advance notice was given to Arlington Public Schools or to Washington-Lee and this was not an approved event. W-L administrators and the Arlington police asked the group to move across the street, but the individuals refused, noting that they were in the public domain on a public sidewalk. While that is true, it is unfortunate that they chose that type of confrontation method to express their views to children who are mostly ages 14-17.  Please be assured it is not anything we would ever approve or encourage, and we regret that the events took place this morning.

Fact: these people were trying to hand out literature to students and pull them into a conversation on abortion as they were going to class.

Fact: they were carrying signs and posters that were disgusting and disturbing.

Fact: they were well within their right to be there.

Fact: they were politely asked to move across the street, but refused. They were not forcibly removed, and their rights were not violated.

So, my opinion is that this was an inappropriate venue and a counterproductive way to get the pro-life message out. They were interfering with students. They were attempting to engage them in a political discussion on their way to school. And they were obviously using shock tactics to do so.

Yes, it’s legal.

No, it’s not appropriate.

Thoughts?

17 responses

  1. Given how children are being trained into sexual promiscuity in schools and now in some places helped by schools to get abortion without parental consent, unfortunately, this is a logical place for opponents of abortion to protest.

    That is not to say that I agree but merely to suggest that this comes as no surprise whatsoever.

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    1. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Neither do two extremes.

      That said, I’m never surprised at how repulsive people are.

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    2. “children are being trained into sexual promiscuity in schools”

      Ummm… exagerate, much?

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      1. “Pave Pusher” said I exaggerated by saying children are being trained into sexual promiscuity in schools.

        Schools promote promiscuity by teaching the use of contraceptives, teaching about various sexual practices (including oral sex, how to put a condom on, etc.) and now even going so far as to hand out contraceptives and recently in some places (NYC, just last week reported in NY Post) handing out “morning after” pills. Those are all facts.

        If you actually believe training children in these ways and even providing supplies to make sexuality among kids easier is not promoting promiscuity, I’d say it’s been a while since you’ve really looked into the prevalence of sexuality in junior highs and high schools. Either that or you’re not a parent of school age kids facing the reality of the situation, which would make the conversation merely academic on your part.

        But to answer your question directly, I confess that I have been guilty of some modest exaggeration after a fishing trip. The one that got away gets bigger each year. At this point, the 7 pound bass I got all the way to the boat and then lost three summers is now approaching 17 pounds, was pulling us across the lake and nearly dislocated my shoulder.🙂

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        1. Schools promote promiscuity by teaching the use of contraceptives, teaching about various sexual practices (including oral sex, how to put a condom on, etc.) and now even going so far as to hand out contraceptives and recently in some places (NYC, just last week reported in NY Post) handing out “morning after” pills. Those are all facts.

          Absolutely not. First of all, “promiscuity” is not a scientific word. It’s not even a measurable criterion. “Promiscuity” to one parent is sleeping with 10 partners, while another, who believes in abstinence until marriage, will claim the word will apply to their kid even if they sleep with one person.

          Yes, schools do teach how to use a condom. So does Army basic training. Not because they expect us to get laid, but because they realize that we will, and to pretend otherwise is stupid, so they would rather avoid STDs and pregnancies. Kids will be kids. It’s up to parents to teach them values and ensure they act appropriately. The schools realize that this will not always happen, so they take steps to at least mitigate the problem. I know of no teacher that encourages kids to go out and fuck like rabid chinchillas in sex ed. The classes that both Teeny and Redhead attended taught “sensitive topics” in an age-appropriate way (yes, I do check) and give the parents the option of taking their kids out of class the day sensitive topics are taught.

          The claim that teaching the proper use of contraceptives promotes promiscuity has no basis in reality whatsoever, partly because the term is such a subjective one, and partly because there’s no data to support said claim – not even sure how you’d measure it, since data would have to rely on what kids will “admit.” But it is a verifiable FACT that states with abstinence only education tend to have the highest rates of teen pregnancies. Soooooo…. take from that what you will. As I read once, that’s like saying “seat belts promote reckless driving.” Schools try to promote knowledge and education. Sometimes they succeed, and sometimes they fail. Miserably. But they certainly don’t “promote” such behavior.
          🙂

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    3. Does teaching dissection of frogs and piglets “promote” the eviceration of animals? Does teaching Drivers Ed “promote” street racing, stunt driving, drunk driving or texting/driving? Your claim is unsupported by facts or stats. If you can show some, great, discussion point. If not, your assertion can be dismissed out of hand.

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      1. Surely, you jest, PavePusher. Do your own homework, or dismiss at will; I said what I said, meant it and stand by it.

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  2. Another example of how an individual or a group takes their right to their opinion and adds the caveat that I am obliged to listen . . . and while I do agree that school could be a place to discuss the topic, the “shock and awe” approach to those that are both impressionable and, more importantly, don’t know any better one way or the other, is definiteyl NOT the way to go. Those that do tarnish their message with their method.

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  3. While I mostly agree with you, I become a bit uncomfortable when I remember that the same argument (legal but inappropriate) is used against my right as a Citizen to be openly armed (or armed in any fashion). I’d say use it as a “teachable moment” about how people can disagree and, hopefully, remain civil to each other.

    Other than that, I got nuttin’.

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  4. Comments? Oh I have several… all bad. THIS is what I spent 20+ yers defending. Our thinking and reasoning citizenry.

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  5. My philosophy is whatever works is what needs to be done. I’m behind any and all – and I do mean all – actions taken to end abortion.

    If some are shocked or disgusted, that’s small price for them to pay.

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    1. Well, as a mother who held her still born in her arms, if one of these fucktards accosted me with that shit, they wouldn’t be walking away. They would be in the hospital. First time I saw one of those posters, I literally screamed in horror. The death of my daughter will always be raw.

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      1. I can respect that, Nicki. It does change my position or support for these people, but I also understand your reaction and wouldn’t have a problem with your response under the circumstances.

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        1. Actually, I would not support assaulting someone to the point that they could not walk away over their chosen expression of free speech. Or assaulting them at all.

          Initiating an act of violence against another person for expressing an opposing opinion when they are not violating your rights is called “criminal behavior.” It’s also opposed to the ideals upon which this nation was founded.

          Free speech rights include messages and methods we find abhorrent. Get over it.

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        2. In this case, I wouldn’t care. I know the legal ramifications and would accept them.

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    2. From a legal standpoint, it would be criminal, certainly. It would not be against the ideals upon which this nation was founded, however, unless such violence was state sanctioned.

      Our founders and our forebearers had little, if any issue, with physical violence in response to verbal offence when all parties involved were acting as private citizens. We had a robost dueling tradition in America for somewhat over a century after our founding and, even, today, “fighting words” is a legal defense in many jursidictions.

      And remember, I’m saying this as someone who could concievably be on the recieving end of such a physical response…

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      1. That is more than agreeable. If Nicki challenged one of these dimwits to a duel and they accepted, that’d be worth grabbing popcorn to see for sure.🙂

        In Montana, it is still legal to challenge to, accept and engage in a duel.

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