Breaking News: Pro-Life Display Vandalized on Local Campus
Students at Miami University tear crosses out of Cemetery of the Innocents Display
November 14, 2018, (Cincinnati, OH): Students at Miami University’s Oxford campus have vandalized the Cemetery of the Innocents Display three times since it was put up on Monday, November 12th by Miami University Students for Life America (MUSFLA). On the evening of Monday, November 12th, some students knocked over one of the display signs. Things escalated on Tuesday evening when students began taking the display apart.
The Cemetery of the Innocents is a memorial display of white crosses intending to be a reminder of abortion’s toll on this country and its people. Twice, groups of students tore down dozens of crosses, and stole the Project Rachel sign intended to provide a resource for healing for post-abortive women. MUSFLA responded both times by calling campus police and simply re-assembling the display. Furthermore, on Wednesday morning, pro-life students woke to find a counter display set up next to the Cemetery of the Innocents. The counter display attempted to mock the pro-life exhibit by twisting their message.
Miami University Police have not been successful in identifying the perpetrators. Kimberly Moore, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at Miami University made a public announcement to the student community in which she says, “Such destructive behavior is not acceptable in our community and we must all join together to condemn it in the strongest possible terms. All Miami University students and student organizations have the right to free speech.”
“I was very disappointed in the response from my fellow students regarding our Cemetery of the Innocents display,” commented Sarah Wilhelm, Social Chair of MUSFLA. “Students for Life had hoped for a more civil response that sparked conversation. Instead our display was vandalized multiple times which does not align with Miami’s values and is completely unacceptable. I hope that in the future our community can have a more constructive dialogue.”
This is not the first time the Students for Life group on Miami has faced vandalism and free speech violations. In fall 2017, the President of MUSFLA, Ellie Wittman, and Alliance Defending Freedom sued Miami University for forcing the group to put up ‘trigger warning’ signs ahead of their pro-life display. School officials ultiately settled the lawsuit and rolled back the ‘trigger warning’ requirement.