Daily Dispatches

Evangelical school refuses pro-life display on campus

"Evangelical school refuses pro-life display on campus" Continued...

Eaton, a videographer who works in Santa Barbara, shot footage of the ensuing exchange between Gruber and the two administrators.

"I just have to say that I feel that it's really disrespectful for you to not respect our wishes," Associate Dean for Residence Life Stu Cleek tells him.

"It's disrespectful to hide the truth of abortion from the students at Westmont," Gruber shoots back.

Gruber spent hours that day arguing with administrators over his signs, but they didn't force him to leave. Gruber knew then he had won an important battle.

Two days later, Gruber returned to the same spot to hold up his sign again. This time, two friends stood with him. Five days later, on Tuesday of last week, two female students agreed to join him. He would have gone back again on Thursday, but he admitted the emotional strain had taken its toll. People have started to avoid him on campus. His cross country coach even gathered the team together to instruct them not to treat Gruber any differently. During his first outing with his sign, one of his teammates sat on the grass 10 feet away with a cardboard placard that read "I find this offensive."

But the response hasn't been all critical. Several people have stopped him to say they're praying for him. Gruber's had more conversations about abortion in the last 10 days than he had in the last two and a half years. And more people have offered to stand with him. Gruber plans to keep holding his signs, at least once a week, until Westmont administrators take a stand against abortion or allow the Genocide Awareness Project to come to campus. Administrators don't intend to punish Gruber or restrict his free speech, Higa said. As long as he continues to do what he has been doing, without escalation, they won't interfere. But they don't intend to approve the GAP display.

More than anything, Gruber wants to stop hearing people say they share his views about abortion but don't agree with what he's doing: "While I appreciate the sentiment, we can't just say we agree to disagree. Do you realize what we're talking about?"

This article originally appeared at WORLD on Campus.

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the managing editor of WORLD's website.


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