The Smithsonian Institution apologizes and changes its rules after a museum security guard expelled 15 students for wearing bright blue anti-abortion beanie hats.
- South Carolina Catholic school students were told to take off their hats or leave
- The museum apologizes but is still facing a lawsuit from the civil liberties group
- Another group of pro-executioners was expelled from the National Archives the same day
The Smithsonian Institution has apologized for expelling a group of 15 Catholic school students from the National Air and Space Museum for wearing beanie hats with an anti-abortion slogan.
The teens from Our Lady of the Rosary private school in Greenville were on a trip to Washington, D.C. for the March of Life on January 20 when they visited the museum.
They went wearing their little bright blue hats from the march, which had “ROSARY PRO-LIFE” embroidered across the front.
Lawyers for the students and their escorts say that a security guard told them several times to remove their hats before they were asked to leave the museum. They claim that others who wear hats with different messages have not been told to do the same.
Ben Cisney, senior counsel for litigation at the American Center for Law and Justice and lead attorney for the students, said the students were told the museum was a “neutral zone” where they could not express their political opinions.
The Smithsonian Institution has apologized after expelling a group of 15 students from a Catholic school in South Carolina for wearing anti-abortion hats to the National Air and Space Museum.
“To think that a group of kids from a Christian school in Greenville, South Carolina would come to D.C. to get so much opportunity to interact and express their beliefs and see the nation’s capital and be treated as such is outrageous,” he said.
The Smithsonian Institution issued an apology after the students spoke through their attorneys in February.
We apologize for asking visitors to take off their hats. Asking visitors to remove hats and clothing is not in line with our policy or protocols.
“We have provided immediate training to prevent this type of incident from recurring, and we have outlined steps to ensure this does not happen again.”
The ACLJ also claims that the Smithsonian agreed to a consent order that would prevent similar incidents like this from happening again.
“This is a positive step that proves what they went through was wrong,” Cesney said. “This agreed order only specifies that it will not happen while this case is pending.”
However, legal action likely has not yet taken place, as the ACLJ is suing the museum on behalf of the students.
The organization also represents a group of schoolchildren who visited the National Archives — the building housing the original Constitution and Bill of Rights — on the same day and were also expelled for wearing anti-abortion clothing, according to the WSPA.
About 15 students from Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School in Greenville (pictured) were attending the anti-abortion March for Life on Washington before visiting the museum
Since then, the Smithsonian (pictured) has apologized to the students and signed a consent order promising this won’t happen again
Ben Cisney (pictured), Senior Litigation Counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice and lead student attorney
The Smithsonian has approved a consent order (pictured) promising this will not happen again
The National Archives and Records Administration also apologized and said it was “actively investigating to determine what happened”.
ACLJ believes the case is likely to begin mediation within the next three months.
We have a lot of work ahead of us. “We will go to mediation and see if we can resolve the case or narrow down the issues of contention,” Cisney said. “This case, in theory, could drag on for as long as lawsuits can.”
He added, “We believe that the case will be resolved either by settlement or trial by a final order of this kind, or perhaps even by a further order.”
“Thousands of Catholic students attend the March for Life each year and we support their right to stand for life,” the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Charleston, which oversees Our Lady of the Rosary School, said in a statement when the students were originally expelled. .
DailyMail.com has reached out to Our Lady of the Rosary for comment.
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