- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Students at Clarion University of Pennsylvania destroyed a pro-life display on campus that featured dozens of white crosses commemorating lives lost to abortion.

The public university’s Students for Life (SFL) chapter discovered Monday morning that a significant portion of the crosses had been broken, removed and tossed into nearby garbage cans, Campus Reform reported.

Vandals wrote messages on several crosses that asked, “Would you support if this life was gay?” and “Would you support if this life were trans?”

This is the second time the group’s display has been vandalized, according to Clarion senior and SFL chapter Vice President Todd Garrett.

“This was a reprehensible act of discrimination against Students for Life,” he said in a statement on the group’s website. “It was an attack on the freedom of speech. I find it quite ridiculous that this is the second time since 2011 that our crosses have been desecrated.”

In 2011, vandals turned 350 pro-life crosses upside down and splattered them with red paint, Campus Reform reported.

Clarion University president Karen Whitney on Monday called the acts of vandalism “unfortunate.”

“I ask that as a community of educators and students, we come together and reflect upon our commitment to our rights and responsibilities of expression,” she said in a statement, Campus Reform reported. “I ask that we use dialogue and discussion to engage very differing viewpoints in ways that leave all of us better for the experience.”

The pro-life students reconstructed the campus display within hours of it being destroyed, Mr. Garrett said.

In an update on their website, SFL said a freshman came forward to confess to throwing away the crosses.

“She stated that the crosses had been written on before she was there,” the chapter vice president wrote. “She stated she was offended by the display and thought that it was mostly like from a group not associated with the University. She placed them into trash cans because she thought that she was doing the maintenance people a favor.

“We have an event tonight and our group is going to decide tonight on how we want to proceed with the issue,” he continued. “We will be deciding whether to take it to the Judicial Conduct Board or not. Also this morning, I filed a complaint with our Campus Police Department, so we will be deciding whether to continue with that or not.”

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