SC students denied entry to Smithsonian Museum for wearing pro-life beanies
Students from Greenville’s Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic school were told to leave the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., for wearing pro-life beanies, the American Center For Law and Justice said.
Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the conservative, Christian group affiliated with Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia, wrote on the organization’s website the students had attended the National March for Life and then went to the museum nearby.
“Museum security and staff then accosted the students several times and demanded they remove their pro-life hats or be forced to leave,” he said.
A spokesman for the National Air and Space Museum said requiring people to remove apparel is not the museum’s policy.
“We provided immediate training to prevent a re-occurrence of this kind of incident, and have determined steps to ensure this does not happen again,” the statement said.
The students were wearing blue hats with the message “Rosary PRO-LIFE” so school officials would easily locate them, Sekulow said.
He called museum employees “abusive” and said they insulted and cursed the students.
Sekulow said his organization represents the mother of two of the students on the field trip.
He said the museum employees claimed the museum was a “neutral space.”
“It’s worth pointing out that others in the museum wore hats and other apparel with messaging and logos of all kinds. They weren’t told to remove them or leave. But because these kids were sporting a simple, innocuous pro-life message, they were deemed too offensive to enter a museum? It’s absurd. And it’s unconstitutional discrimination,” Sekulow said.