FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Controversy is brewing after a Fort Wayne Community Schools official confronted pro-life protesters outside South Side High School. Principal Carlton Mable demanded the protesters, who were reportedly on the sidewalk, leave “school property.”
But Elizabeth Nelson of Created Equal told the Pat Miller Program Tuesday afternoon that they weren’t on school property at all:
“I called 911 to get police there… they finally came back (to us) and said it was indeed a public right-of-way,” Nelson says.
FWCS Spokesperson Krista Stockman says the group was blocking students from leaving, and that they’ve shown up at several district schools:
“At other schools where we’ve seen them, they’ve been across the street. We don’t understand why they felt the need to be right there, in the face of students trying to get home.”
Nelson disputes that assertion, saying that any students hanging around the area were “definitely voluntarily standing there,” adding “they were the ones engaging us, mostly.”
Fort Wayne Spokesman John Perlich says as long as a protest involves less than 25 people, they don’t need a permit, but did not comment on whether or not the sidewalk is public property, or school property. Nelson says there were only a few protesters.
Mark Harrington, National Director for Created Equal, will appear on Fort Wayne’s Morning News at 7:08am Wednesday morning. The group has stated it is considering legal action against Fort Wayne Community Schools unless it receives an apology for allegedly violating their First Amendment rights.