National Archives cuts ties with guard who told visitors to remove clothing with pro-life messages
A security officer at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is no longer working there after a lawsuit claimed he told visitors from March for Life to remove or cover up clothing bearing pro-life messages, Fox News has confirmed.
Archivist Debra Steidel Wall disclosed the information in a letter about the incident from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas.
‘The security officers involved in the January 20, 2023, incident are private contractors on a NARA contract,’ Wall said in the letter that NARA shared with Fox News Digital. ‘Our vendor conducted its own investigation of the incident and determined a supervisor that it employed, who was working that day, provided instructions to other security officers who work for the same vendor that were contrary to our policy. The vendor has removed this supervisor from NARA’s contract, and that individual is no longer working in any NARA facility.’
Wall’s letter stated that the supervisor’s ‘action was contrary to NARA policy,’ noting that ‘[t]he irony that this happened just steps away from the permanent display of the original Bill of Rights is not lost on me or any of the employees who proudly welcome more than one million annual visitors to the Museum.’
Wall added that ‘NARA’s policy explicitly allows visitors to the museum to wear clothing that expresses their political and religious viewpoints,’ and that when she learned about the incident she issued a public apology and began investigating the situation.
NARA did not have any additional comment.
Cruz lauded the National Archives for taking ‘the necessary steps’ in handling the situation, the Daily Signal reported.
‘The First Amendment rights of pro-life visitors should never have been infringed to begin with,’ Cruz said. ‘These rights, like the documents housed at the National Archives, are foundational, and must be protected for everyone.’
The National Archives previously apologized for the incident after visitors brought a lawsuit filed by the American Center for Law and Justice. NARA reached a preliminary agreement with the plaintiffs last week and offered them a personal tour.