Society

Court Rules Against Anti-Abortion Fetus Dolls in High School After Students Abuse Them

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A high school in New Mexico was given "fetus dolls" by an anti-abortion group to "put God back into the schools," but the plan backfired as students abused the dolls in various ways.

An appeals court ruled that the group did not have the right to distribute the dolls because the students' behavior outweighed the group's free speech to distribute them. 

Two high schools in Roswell, N.M. were given the dolls but most of them were destroyed by the students.

Some students took off the dolls' heads, others put them on pencils and threw them at the ceiling.

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"Both schools experienced doll-related disruptions that day. Many students pulled the dolls apart, tearing the heads off and using them as rubber balls or sticking them on pencil tops," a ruling from the United States Court of Appeals said. "Others threw dolls and doll parts at the 'popcorn' ceilings so they became stuck."

"Dolls were used to plug toilets. Several students covered the dolls in hand sanitizer and lit them on fire. One or more male students removed the dolls' heads, inverted the bodies to make them resemble penises, and hung them on the outside of their pants' zippers."

Most teachers complained that the dolls were extremely distracting, as it took many of them at least 10 minutes each class period to get control of their classes. Other classes were completely derailed.

"An honors freshman English class canceled a scheduled test because students had become enraged in name calling and insults over the topic of abortion. A Roswell security officer described the day as a 'disaster' because of the dolls."

Even though the school said the dolls were distracting, anti-abortion group Relentless tried to hand out the dolls again.

"Relentless attempted to distribute the dolls again, believing it was their Christian duty and constitutional right. Administrators at both schools immediately stopped this second distribution," a statement said.

It seemed that the students were also only distracted by the dolls, as on Valentine's Day, items were passed out to them. But these items did not cause any disruption.

"On the same day, other students at Roswell High were allowed to distribute Valentine's Day-related items such as candy, cards and stuffed animals. The record does not tell whether any students distributed large quantities of these items or whether they received prior approval. There is no evidence of disturbance from the Valentine's Day-related distributions."

Ultimately, the court decided that the school was right to block the distribution of the dolls.

"Plantiffs' free exercise and equal protection claims fail because the decision to stop the distribution was not based on religion, and Plantiffs failed to show they were treated differently from similarly situated students," they said.

Sources: Raw Story, Think Progress