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Student Ideals Clash Over Proposed Walkout at California School

Rocklin High School (YouTube )

Students at a California high school are calling on their peers to protest abortion in a national school walkout.

Brandon Gillespie, a student at Rocklin High School, is using social media to drive the campaign.

"I have officially announced the pro-life walkout that I am organizing. It is going to take place on Wednesday, April 11th at 10:00 am. The walkout will last for 17 minutes. We encourage students across the country to participate in a stand for #life," he wrote on Twitter.

Gillespie told CBN News the event is meant "to honor the lives of the millions of children who fell victim to abortion."

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"I want to test and see if there is a double standard in the school district," he added.

Gillespie decided to plan the walkout after Julianne Benzel, a teacher at Rocklin High School, was placed on administrative leave after questioning the recent national walkout for gun control.

She asked the students if they thought the school administration would let another group of students protest a cause like abortion. The next day, she was placed on administrative leave.

Although she was reinstated just two days later, it was enough to inspire Brandon Gillespie to take action, who says the movement is growing at his school.

"It's starting to become a lot bigger on our campus. ... So far everybody that has come up to me is very supportive," he said.

Not all students are on board with the anti-abortion protest.

"Abortions aren't really anything that has to do with school or students here," Naeirika Neev told CBS 13.

Neev is the editor of the school newspaper. She's using the hashtag "enough is enough" to promote peace and challenge the pro-life movement on her campus.

"The comparison of a protest against gun violence and that of an abortion is a logical fallacy—a false equivalence," she recently wrote in the school newspaper.

"Due to the First Amendment, those who wish to hold protests on abortion, or any other matter, have the freedom to do so. However, the controversy of abortions has nothing to do with the school administration or the school environment. Therefore, it is unreasonable for such protest to take place on school ground, during school time and unreasonable to make such comparison," Neev added.

Rocklin High School's principal plans to meet with Gillespie about the protest Friday.

"While we can't speculate the outcome of this meeting, we support students' exercise of their First Amendment right to free speech in compliance with the law and our Board Policy," a spokesperson for the Rocklin High School District told CBN News.

Gillespie says his meeting with the principal Friday will be "the big deal breaker" to see if he'll be able to follow through with his plans.

Reprinted with permission from Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, all rights reserved.

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