South Bend school suspends teacher over Right to Life talk


SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A northern Indiana school district has suspended a teacher who invited a representative of an anti-abortion group to speak during a health class.

The South Bend Community School Corp. placed the Clay High School teacher on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

District leaders said the presentation Tuesday by a representative of Right to Life Michiana violated policies and procedures because the teacher did not seek the approval of the school principal and did not notify parents in advance, the South Bend Tribune reported.

Superintendent Todd Cummings said in a statement the visit was unauthorized.

“Policies, protocols, multiple perspectives, and parent notifications need to be followed to ensure the continued trust of our families,” Cummings said.

District spokeswoman Susan Guibert declined to name the teacher.

A message from Cummings will be sent to families, Guibert said.

A spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Education said the agency does not provide formal guidance for such situations and considers it a local matter.

Jackie Appleman, executive director of Right to Life Michiana, said her organization tailored its presentation for a public school visit and did not promote any religious or moral views.

“We just talked about the medical and scientific facts of fetal development and what the abortion procedure actually looks like,” Appleman said.

No graphic images were shown, she said.

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