An anti-abortion group known for wearing cameras to record students at demonstrations has announced they will come to an undisclosed JCPS school tomorrow.
On its Facebook page on Wednesday, the Abolitionist Society of Louisville posted, “JCPS. HERE WE COME. 8-29-14 #ProjectFrontlines.”
This will be their second demonstration outside of JCPS schools. The group captured video of students by using GoPro cameras strapped to their chest during a protest at Southern High School last April.
The group did not respond to reporters’ inquiries about the location of the protest or their plan of action.
According to its Facebook page, the group is affiliated with the national organization Abolish Human Abortion (AHA), which “seeks to abolish abortion because humans are made in the image of God.” AHA also sponsors Project Frontlines, a program designed to “expose millions of students to the evil of abortion in the light of the Gospel,” according to its website.
Nationally, other Project Frontline demonstrations have displayed posters that include pictures of aborted fetuses, among other anti-abortion content. The Southern High School video featured male protesters holding posters of fetuses in utero.
In addition to Southern High School demonstration, the group protested at The Women’s Surgical Center on West Market Street.
Ben Jackey, a spokesperson for JCPS, said that there is nothing JCPS can do as long as they stay off the property. “We’ve had a group that has come to multiple schools over the last two years that I’m aware of who have been on the sidewalk off property and have protested,” said Jackey. “As long as they’re not interfering with anything, they have a First Amendment right to do what they’re doing.”
Louisville civil and constitutional rights attorney Dan Canon says that as long as the protesters are on public property, they are entitled to record video of whatever they wish. He added that if they filmed inside the school grounds, it would be a different story. “The First Amendment is going to offer a lot of protection under these circumstances,” Canon said. “A notorious example of this is the Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church case, which allowed them to use whatever disgusting filth they had to protest a military funeral.”
Leslie Millar, a JCPS parent, believes the protesters are not taking the appropriate approach to educate people about their sexual health. “It is just a scare tactic,” Millar said. “Would you show disgusting pictures of removed organs to a person who is going in to get surgery? It just doesn’t make sense.”
The practice of video recording students at the demonstrations disturbed Alex Minton (11, YPAS). “I think it is not only in very poor taste to record people without consent, but it is also a foolish and inefficient means to supporting a cause,” Alex Minton (11, YPAS) said. “People typically respond poorly to unauthorized recording of them, and by extension will respond poorly to the cause.”
Breya Jones (11, J&C) doesn’t expect the students to react positively. “If they want yelling and screaming, then they should go somewhere else,” Jones said. “High schoolers aren’t really the biggest demographic they could approach.”