Young America’s Foundation has warned a public high school in Texas that a legal challenge may be imminent, following the principal’s decision not to recognize a Young Americans for Freedom chapter.

This past spring, students at Kennedale High School in Kennedale, Texas, submitted paperwork to the school’s principal to form a YAF chapter. Michael Cagle, the principal of the school, informed the budding conservative activists that their request would need to be approved by the school district’s legal team, citing YAF’s “national affiliation.”

Three months went by with no answer, until student Bahij Said asked the principal for an update – then finding out that the administrator never even sent the paperwork to the legal team, and instead decided unilaterally that the club was not approved. He encouraged Bahij and the other students to try again another time, with a “less controversial” club.

YAF Deputy General Counsel Steve Mairella submitted a warning letter to Kennedale High School on Wednesday, warning that these unconstitutional actions will not stand.

“The students of KHS YAF are asking for nothing more than the ability to express their views on campus consistent with all other student clubs, and have done nothing to warrant the treatment Principal Cagle and the KHS administration subjected them to,” Mairella wrote.

“It is our strong preference that this matter will be resolved quickly without forcing us into litigation, but the students and YAF are prepared to take whatever legal action is necessary to correct this injustice,” the letter continued.

“It is essential for students to have a platform to discuss and share conservative ideas and thoughts and without a YAF chapter, students are left without guidance and support in advocating for their rights,” Bahij told YAF. “If students are not given the opportunity to express themselves in compliance with our country’s constitution at institutions designed to foster knowledge and education, then we as a nation are no longer champions of democracy and freedom. By fighting for a YAF chapter, I am not only fighting for the equal rights of students but for the right to express ourselves freely as Americans.”

It’s absurd that the conservative students at this high school are being held to a different, arbitrary standard than other groups. Other nationally affiliated groups do exist at Kennedale, and were not subjected to ridiculous paperwork requirements and eventual denial. It’s time for Principal Cagle to wake up and realize that YAF activists will not tolerate being treated as second-class citizens. Cagle should not let his own personal biases get in the way of students’ free speech rights–and YAF is here to make sure that won’t happen.

To request an interview about this story, contact YAF Spokeswoman Kara Zupkus at kzupkus@yaf.org

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