Students from a Catholic school in South Carolina claim they got a not-so-warm welcome at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., when they entered wearing hats proclaiming their opposition to abortion.
The students and their chaperones from Our Lady of the Rosary School in Greenville, who were in town for the 2023 March for Life, say museum staffers told them they needed to remove their hats if they wanted to stay and look around. The light blue beanies read “Rosary Pro-Life.”
“Other individuals in the museum were wearing hats of all kinds without issue,” claims Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, in a blog post about the incident.
The center is now representing six of the students and two of their parents, who are planning to file a lawsuit against the museum.
Attorneys sent the Smithsonian Institution a letter Wednesday instructing museum officials to preserve all internal communications about interactions with the students.
“A government institution cannot censor an individual’s speech,” Sekulow wrote.Related
Museum officials have disputed some aspects of the students’ story about the encounter, asserting, for example, that no one was “berated,” according to The Washington Examiner.
But they’ve also apologized to the school group and had staffers go through training aimed at preventing future conflict.
“Asking visitors to remove hats and clothing is not in keeping with our policy or protocols,” said Alison Wood, spokeswomen for the National Air and Space Museum, in a statement to The Washington Examiner. “We provided immediate training to prevent a reoccurrence of this kind of incident and have determined steps to ensure this does not happen again.”
Our Lady of the Rosary School was one of hundreds of schools to send students to attend the March for Life. The annual event brings together abortion opponents from across the country to advocate for an end to legal abortion.2023-02-04T14:11:37Z dg43tfdfdgfd