California high school student planning pro-life walkout

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The March for Life in Washington, D.C., Jan. 27, 2017. Credit: Jeff Bruno.

Students at a public school in California are organizing a pro-life walkout, similar to the recent walkouts over gun control, in honor of unborn babies who have been aborted.

The pro-life walkout will take place at Rocklin High School in Rocklin, Calif., a Sacramento suburb, on April 11.

The walkout, similar to the recent walkouts over gun control in honor of the Parkland shooting victims in Florida, and will last 17 minutes. The event will be promoted by students with #life.

The organizer of the walkout, Rocklin High student Brandon Gillespie, said he hopes the event will “honor all the lives of the millions of aborted babies every year,” according to local news.

“We encourage students across the country to participate in a stand for #life,” Gillespie said in a March 22 Tweet.

Gillespie noted that he was inspired by his history teacher, Julianne Benzel, to jumpstart the pro-life walkout.

Benzel recently highlighted the nationwide walkouts over gun control in her classroom and asked her students to consider what the limits might be over protests on school grounds and if there was a double-standard.

“If schools, not only just our school and our administration, but across the country are going to allow one group of students to get up during class and walk out to protest one issue, would they still give the same courtesy to another group of students who wanted to protest… abortion?’ Benzel told Fox & Friends.

“If you’re going to allow students to get up and walk out without penalty, then you’re going to have to allow any group of students that wants to protest,” Benzel continued.

Soon after her classroom discussion, Benzel was placed on paid administrative leave after a few students and one parent filed a complaint to the school against her.

District spokesperson Diana Capra said that Benzel was “not penalized or placed on leave because of her viewpoints,” but her leave was “due to complaints from parents and students involving the teacher’s communication regarding…the student-led remembrance activities.”

Despite the controversy, Rocklin students are moving forward with their pro-life walkout in a few weeks and have encouraged other students around the nation to join the walkout for life.

Gillespie met with Rocklin High School's principal the morning of March 23, but has yet to announce any updates to the walkout's status since then.

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