A coalition of Christian organizations is encouraging students to stay home when their schools recognize the “Day of Silence” homosexual-lifestyle promotion this year – and the reaction has started coming in.
Liberty Counsel reports it has had complaints from parents and students about a wide range of misbehaviors or misrepresentations presented by schools.
For example, in one school district a principal told a father if his son was not at school on the “Day of Silence,” the student would be given a failing grade for the year. In Indiana, parents were told by public school officials it was “against the law” for them to cancel the program or excuse absences that day. And in Iowa, a school board member said a student refusing to speak throughout a school day was no more disruptive than a “Christian wearing a cross.”
“Students have the right not to remain silent. Students can refuse to attend school. They may mount a counter-protest in support of purity and the traditional family. While schools may be required to allow clubs to meet on campus, schools do not have to promote the Day of Silence. Students to not have the right to remain silent when called upon by teachers,” Staver said.
Liberty Counsel has assembled a legal memorandum that explains how to protect schools from being “hijacked” by the agenda of the event, which is promoted by the homosexual advocacy organization Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network.
The memo advises that student conduct causing a substantial disruption or material interference with school activities is not protected under the First Amendment.
Liberty Counsel said that in Oklahoma, a high school graduate was told by her former principal if he did not allow the Day of Silence he could not allow the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In South Dakota, a student was told her absence on that day would impose a requirement that she write a paper explaining why she did not participate.
The event encourages students to remain silent in recognition of “discrimination” against homosexuals. It’s scheduled this year for April 25, although some schools are recognizing it on a different day.
“GLSEN claims the event counteracts bullying, but it is merely promoting an anti-heterosexual viewpoint,” Liberty Counsel said. “Schools can teach students the value of respect without accepting GLSEN’s propaganda event. Many states, like Florida, for example, have laws that require abstinence-based education when sexuality is discussed, so the school cannot recognize the Day of Silence without promoting abstinence.”
The organization’s advice continued: “Some school administrators do not understand that students cannot be penalized for refusing to observe the Day of Silence. … Liberty Counsel is encouraging students to mount a counter-celebration to promote a positive message of purity on the Day of Silence. Students are encouraged to wear white and to distribute flyers promoting sexual purity whenever other students are permitted to distribute literature promoting the Day of Silence.”
“It’s outrageous that our neighborhood schools would allow homosexual activism to intrude into the classroom,” said Buddy Smith of the American Family Association, one of a long list of organizations asking parents to keep their students home from school on that day.
“‘Day of Silence’ is about coercing students to repudiate traditional morality. It’s time for Christian parents to draw the line – if your children will be exposed to this DOS propaganda in their school, then keep them home for the day,” he said.
Linda Harvey, a spokeswoman for Mission America, told WND, “It’s incredibly important that parents be very aware because things are quickly getting to a bizarre level.”
Her organization is publishing lists of schools where the event appears to be on the schedule, as well as a list of schools where officials have confirmed they will not recognize the promotional day.
“When a parent finds out about this kind of event, they need to take immediate action, join with other parents,” Harvey said. “They need to go to the school board. They need to be persistent. They will get a cold shoulder from those who say, ‘We’ve never heard this [concern] before.’ Those are standard responses. They need to be persistent, and very, very discerning about what’s really going on and who’s advocating this.”
Besides being morally objectionable, such lifestyles present enormously higher risks for children for HIV and other related health damage, she noted.
“[Parents] need to decide this is real, this is extremely damaging. And it’s only going to get worse,” Harvey said. “In the early 1990s there were a handful of homosexual clubs at schools. Now there are about 3,500-4,000 in high schools and they are increasing. The big trend now is in middle schools. GLSEN has made it a goal to have homosexual clubs in every school K-12. They’re going to make it if we don’t stand up and be counted.”
Matt Barber, a spokesman for Concerned Women for America, said the day “amounts to educational malpractice.”
“Our schools are supposed to be places of learning, not places of political indoctrination. It is the height of impropriety and cynicism for ‘gay’ activists and school officials to use children as pawns in their attempt to further a highly controversial and polarizing political agenda,” he said.
“Social activism does not belong in the classroom,” added Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth.
The Alliance Defense Fund also works to promote the non-disruptive “Day of Truth” scheduled this year on April 28.
Among the groups in the coalition supporting opposition to the “Day of Silence” agenda are:
- Abiding Truth Ministries
- American Family Association
- AFA of MI
- AFA of PA
- Americans for Truth
- Christian Information Service
- Christian Civic League of Maine
- Concerned Women for America
- Culture Campaign
- Defend the Family International
- Exodus Mandate
- Illinois Family Institute
- Indiana Voice for the Family
- Informing Christians
- Liberty Counsel
- Mission America
- New Generation Christian Center
- Parents’ Rights’ Coalition
- Right March
- Stephen Bennett Ministries
- Values USA
- and Watchmen on the Walls
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