Ann Arbor school ordered to allow anti-abortion pitch on election eve

A student at Skyline High School (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A judge ordered an Ann Arbor school to allow opponents of an abortion-rights ballot question to deliver their message over the public-address system Monday, saying a denial violated the students’ free-speech rights.

The Republican club at Skyline High School got the message out a day before voters decide Tuesday whether to place abortion rights, known as Proposal 3, in the state Constitution.

The message urged students to email the club if they want to “protect the health of women and children.” It also made other claims about the impact of Proposal 3.

Meanwhile, students who support the proposal briefly left school Monday, walked around the building and returned to class, an act that was planned last week.

In his order, U.S. District Judge Paul Borman said the school had sought to “silence plaintiffs’ appropriate speech” by refusing to broadcast the message while allowing students to walk out in favor of Proposal 3.

The school district had argued that allowing an anti-Proposal 3 message through the public-address system would violate a state prohibition against using school resources for political advocacy.

Borman’s temporary restraining order doesn’t end the case.

“We will continue to vigorously defend this case in court,” Superintendent Jeanice Kerr Swift said.

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