Pro-life display immediately hit by vandals at NKU
A pro-life display at Northern Kentucky University was vandalized Sunday less than two hours after its construction.
Images of the display obtained by Campus Reform show that dozens of crosses, each one representing the ten children lost to abortion each day, were torn down and stolen.
Additionally, a sign erected in front of the display to explain its significance was stolen, all of which occurred only two hours after the display was first set up.
“This is very concerning to us because we are worried that NKU's campus is no longer a place for free speech. Not to mention that this vandalism is also a felony,” Maria Walker, president of Northern Right to Life, told Campus Reform, noting that she and her peers had set up their display at 9:00 p.m. but returned two hours later to find it destroyed.
“If you disagree with the concept, you have every right to argue against it. What you don't have a right to do is destroy private property,” Sebastian Torres, former Kentucky state chair of Young American for Liberty, remarked on Facebook. “Individuals on both sides of the debate should be able to fully commit to the fact that fear tactics are unacceptable.”
The university assured Campus Reform it fully supports its student body “in exercising their right to free speech” and does what it can to protect that freedom.
"At NKU, we believe our country’s First Amendment freedoms are a central pillar in higher education and free expression is a core value that we hold dear,” the school said in a statement provided to Campus Reform. “The display of crosses on our campus represents protected free expression, and any damage to the display is interfering with someone’s exercise of free speech. We understand our students’ concerns around their display being damaged and encourage an open dialog where we can come together and discuss this.”
Additionally, Chief John Gaffin of the NKU University Police Department noted that the case will be filed “as a misdemeanor theft and criminal mischief.”
“Based on the facts that were reported to us, which includes a missing sign and roughly 35 crosses pulled out of the ground and set aside, this case is being filed as a misdemeanor theft and criminal mischief,” he told Campus Reform. “Our detective is speaking with the group, and if any new information comes to light, we will revise the case. We take all our cases seriously regardless of how they are classified.”
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