Catholic Students Kicked Out of Smithsonian For Wearing Pro-Life Hats

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum faces an intense backlash after it kicked out a dozen student visitors for wearing beanies stitched with the words “PRO-LIFE.” Staff members allegedly mocked the group before telling them they could either remove their hats or leave the museum. The student’s lawyer is now demanding answers.

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“We got done with the March for Life, and we decided to go to the Air and Space Museum,” Sean Patrick Murphy said in an interview with Sean Hannity. He and his classmates had been attending the rally as part of a class field trip. They were students at the Our Lady of the Rosary School in Greenville, South Carolina. Murphy said they wore matching hats to make them identifiable as a group.

“At this time, we are addressed by two women in all black, presumably security guards, when they tell us… ‘All people wearing a pro-life hat, take it off,’ and immediately we’re confused.” One of the students tried to explain that the hats were for identification, but Murphy says, “the two women they kind of blew us off, and we walked out.”

The museum staff did not stop there, however,

“We were approached by a large man as we were walking out because we had to catch our bus. He comes up to us rubbing his hands together, saying, ‘y’all are about to make my day,’ with a massive smile on his face. And he tells us he’s got reports saying we said ‘no’ to taking our hats off and we’re in trouble for some odd reason.”

Murphy said that again, a student tried to explain the purpose of the hats, but the staff member “wasn’t having it.”

“I said, ‘This is a violation of our First Amendment right. This is a government funded building. How are we paying for this with our taxes and I’m not allowed to wear this hat? He said, ‘this is a neutral zone’ and ‘that doesn’t apply here.’ We were blown away. We had almost no words.”

One of the students’ parents took to Twitter to share what had happened,

Outrage swirled, and the mother pointed out the Smithsonian staff’s double standards.

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According to a Fox News report, the Smithsonian issued a statement after, saying,

“Asking visitors to remove hats and clothing is not in keeping with our policies or protocols… We provided immediate training to prevent a re-occurrence of this kind of incident.”

But American Center for Law and Justice Director Jordan Sekulow says he still wants answers and that “legal action is imminent.”
“They said they did a training afterward… and they didn’t apologize to these students,” Sekulow said. “They picked on the wrong students, as people can tell from Patrick. We’re going to get to the bottom of it… we’re going to hear from more people from March for Life who may have been harassed at other museums, and told for some reason ‘you have to take your hat off’… We’re fighting back. And if you need help… we want to hear from you.”

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Sekulow officially represents the parents of several students who were asked to remove their hats.

The Smithsonian receives over $1B every year in tax dollars.

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