Chelsea Schilling is a commentary editor and staff writer for WND and a proud U.S. Army veteran. She has also worked as a news producer at USA Radio Network and as a news reporter for the Sacramento Union.More ↓Less ↑
Nationwide outrage against public school participation in the “gay”-friendly 2008 Day of Silence resulted in hundreds of students boycotting the observance and some administrators canceling pro-homosexual activities.
Parent and community protests against school involvement made all the difference, Linda Harvey, president of Mission America, told WND.
“The Day of Silence Walk Out was extremely successful,” she said. “In many high schools, hundreds of students stayed home. Here at Mission America, we had thousands of e-mails from both parents and schools, and more than 300 schools were taken off our initial list of those we believed would be sponsoring this pro-homosexual event.”
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, or GSLEN, has sponsored the nationwide silent protest every April for the last 12 years. The event is said to be a showing of support for “gay,” lesbian, bisexual and transgender victims of violence and bullying. According to GSLEN’s 2005 National School Climate Survey, four out of five LGBT children experience harassment in school. The organization claims 64 percent of “gay” students feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and 41 percent because of their “gender expression.”
Despite claims that the silent protest is organized by school-age children, Harvey said it is orchestrated by adults using local schools to portray homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender behaviors as lifestyles that are worthy of sympathy. She said activists claim to have been subjects of discrimination, and they try to portray them as a minority group, comparable to other racial, ethnic or religious groups.
“Homosexuality and these lifestyles are high-risk, dangerous and immoral behaviors,” she said. “Homosexuality is not immutable. It is changeable, and it’s something that shouldn’t be promoted to kids.”
GLSEN claims there are almost 4,000 homosexual clubs now in American high schools and middle schools. Harvey attributes the growth to unrelenting “gay” activism. She said some administrators hide DOS events from parents to prevent protest, but Mission America’s list of participating schools helps concerned families stay alert. Parents must remain vigilant, she warned.
“Groups of parents and individuals need to sit down and talk with the administration if they have sponsored the Day of Silence and say we all of this pro-homosexual misinformation and propaganda out of our schools,” she said. “We do not want the Day of Silence observed. If students want to do this, they should have to do it on their own time.”
Harvey said the 2008 effort was the largest yet, as the organization united with major pro-family groups like the American Family Association. The Mission America website received more than 2 million hits in one day, forcing it to overload and crash from overwhelming public support.
“It was a hug deal for us,” she said. “I had many of these principals say, ‘I’ve had 80 calls from parents. You’ve got to get me off this list.’ They were literally begging to get off this list.”
A Golden Rule pledge card used to promote the Day of Silence
The following are some incidents that took place during the silent protests and were reported by Mission America:
Phoenix, Ariz.: At Maryvale High School, a school announcement said the following: “Do you want to be “normal,” just another faceless drone of society? Neither do we! Come to the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) every Wednesday after school in the lecture hall to learn how to be more accepting of your differences and the differences of others.” Parents were not informed of the meetings.
Also in Phoenix, at Desert Ridge High School, Arizona Republic reported that between 200 and 250 students stayed home. A parent who objected to the observance hosted a pool party for students who refused to participate. The father, Randy Bellino, told a Phoenix television station that someone sent a text message threatening to shoot his son, and police questioned a group of homosexual students who silently sat across the street from his home.
Kirksville, Mo.: A parent told Mission America that the Kirksville High School principal and superintendent laughed when she asked if her child could be excused from participating in the school’s Day of Silence. According to the organization, she said, “They called me a narrow-minded bigot and refused to give excused absences.”
Also in Missouri, more than 400 students protested by staying home from Raymore-Peculiar High School on the day of the silent observances.
Chaska, Minn.: At Chaska High School, the observance was extended into a full week of activities promoting “diversity.” T-shirts were sold, and teachers were encouraged to join silent students in protest. Community events included a pow wow, discussion groups and a mayor’s pizza dinner.
Also in Minnesota, Maple Grove school administrators reportedly told an 11th grade student he would be considered truant and his grades would suffer if he did not attend school.
Indiana: Despite parent protests, a public school participated in the observance, told parents it was “against the law” to cancel the event and insisted absences would be unexcused for the day.
Iowa: A school board member claimed that remaining silent to observe homosexuality would be no more disruptive than a “Christian wearing a cross” to classes.
Oklahoma: A principal said that if he did not observance of the DOS, he would not be able to continue Bible clubs and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Milwaukee, Wis.: Germantown High School sold DOS T-shirts in the weeks prior to the event. An administrator claimed the day was not pro-homosexual, but a time to learn to tolerate all people. The school went so far as to show a clip of the movie “Exodus” and compare homosexual mistreatment to the Holocaust.
Snoqualmie, Wash.: At Mount Si High School, Pastor Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church led a protest against the day. Hundreds of students and their parents peacefully gathered outside the school, and more than 600 students stayed home.
Tampa, Fla.: Hillsborough County Commissioner Brian Blair called for parents to resist student participation in the day’s events, saying homosexuals weren’t the only ones who are bullied. Also in Florida, a principal threatened to give a student failing grades for the entire year if he did not participate in school that day.
Santa Barbara, Calif.: Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) of Santa Barbara introduced a resolution recognizing the day and a 15-year-old cross-dresser, Larry King, who was murdered at school in California, the Ventura County Star reported. The 2008 event was dedicated to Larry.
Reisterstown, Md.: At Franklin High School, posters promoted “gay” marriage, calling dissenters “homophobic.” The Christian Culture Club was banned from hanging posters with slogans or religious beliefs. The student president of the club protested, and to her surprise the school principal agreed to have the posters removed.