April 03, 2014
MEMPHIS, TN — Today, a federal district court in Memphis entered a consent order and judgment in favor of Kent Pruett against Shelby County Board of Education, confirming Pruett’s constitutional right to use public property for a pro-life assembly and gathering. Officials with Shelby County schools had denied Pruett any access to school space during non-school hours on the weekend, though they allow various other groups access to meet during these times, because they view Pruett’s position against abortion to be “too controversial.”
Prior to the merger between Memphis and Shelby County Schools, Pruett had used Memphis public school facilities on an annual basis for over three decades to conduct a pro-life rally commemorating the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. During these events, Pruett and other like-minded individuals gather, hear speakers, and pray about the plight of abortion in our country. Though their events never raised any concerns, Shelby County schools insisted on barring the pro-life perspective.
A few months ago, Pruett obtained a preliminary injunction from the court allowing this year’s event to go forward at White Station High School in Memphis. This final order and judgment assures Pruett of his constitutional right to equal access for future pro-life rallies.
“We praise God for this important victory,” said Pruett’s lead attorney, Nate Kellum, Chief Counsel with the Center for Religious Expression. “Just like anyone else, Christians have the right to assemble, share their views, and contribute to the marketplace of ideas.”