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Parents whose children are in public schools across the United States are being asked to take them out of class for a day because of the “political usurpation of public school classrooms through silence.”
The plea comes from a large coalition of family and conservative organizations and targets Friday, when the pro-homosexual activist group GLSEN promotes the annual “Day of Silence.”
“The explicit purpose of DOS is to encourage sympathy and support for students involved in homosexual and cross-dressing behaviors whose voices have been allegedly silenced by the disapproval of society,” explains the organizers behind the ‘Day of Silence’ Walkout website.
“The implicit purpose is to undermine the belief that homosexuality and cross-dressing are immoral.”
The coalition includes Abiding Truth Ministries, American Family Association, AFA Michigan, AFA Pennsylvania, Americans for Truth, Capitol Resource Institute, Citizens for Community Values, Coalition of Conscience, Community Issues Council, CWA of Florida, CWA of Hawaii, CWA of Ohio, CWA of Texas South, CWA of Illinois, CWA of Washington, Don Feder Associations, Faith2Action, Faith, Family & Freedom Alliance, Good News Communications, Illinois Family Institute, Informing Christians, Jimmy Z Show, Liberty Counsel, MassResistance, Matt Abbott, Mission: America, Montana Family Association, Sandy Rios and Save California.
The coalition advises parents to determine whether their local school district allows the protest during class time.
“If students will be permitted to remain silent, parents can express their opposition most effectively by calling their children out of school on the Day of Silence and sending letters of explanation to their administrators, their children’s teachers, and all school board members,” the coalition says.
“Some administrators assert that DOS merely seeks to promote ‘acceptance.’ They fail to clarify, however, what precisely they want students to accept. While it is legitimate to teach students that there exist diverse opinions on this issue, it is not legitimate to imply that one of those opinions is preferable to another. While it is appropriate to teach acceptance of people, meaning that we should treat all with civility, it is not appropriate to suggest that students need to accept the view that homosexual conduct is moral. These important distinctions are never made in public school discussions of ‘acceptance.'”
Further, it advises, “One oft-repeated mantra is that the goal of DOS is to keep LGBTQ students safe. The problematic rhetoric of ‘safety,’ however, substitutes speciously for the more accurate term of ‘comfort.’ To suggest that in order for those who self-identify as homosexual or ‘transgender’ to be ‘safe,’ no one may disapprove of homosexual conduct is both absurd and dangerous. If this definition of ‘safety’ were to be applied consistently, virtually all statements of disapproval would be prohibited.”
GLSEN, for example, considers statements of moral conviction with which it disagrees a “prejudice or discrimination,” the coalition statement explains.
Published online is a sample letter for parents to send to schools:
Due to the administration’s decision to allow the politicization of the learning environment through the Day of Silence, which is sponsored by the highly partisan Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, we feel compelled to call our child/children out of school on that day.
The administration errs when it allows the classroom to be disrupted and politicized by granting students permission to remain silent throughout an entire day. The protesters have a captive audience, many of whom disagree with and are made uncomfortable by the politicization of their classroom. How many political protests will the school allow, and who decides which political issue will be permitted to disrupt the educational process?
Day of Silence participants have a First Amendment right to wear T-shirts, and if other extracurricular clubs put up posters and set up tables from which to distribute materials, “gay-straight alliances” have that right also. The Day of Silence participants go further, however, by exploiting the instructional time of every student in every class for an entire day in the service of their philosophical beliefs and partisan political purposes. Their silence, and in some cases, the silence of their teachers, transform the activities of the day.
By allowing students to remain silent, administrations fail to protect the classroom from intrusive, political exploitation. My child/children will not be part of this political appropriation of the classroom.
Another organization, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, PFOX, suggests another tactic. That would be for students to attend classes that day and hand out flyers promoting acceptance of homosexuals who choose to leave that lifestyle.
“Since members of these gay-affirming clubs agree to remain silent for the day, April 20 is the time to distribute ex-gay information without interference or harassment from any gay activist faculty or GSA clubs,” said Greg Quinlan, president of PFOX.
“PFOX is calling on students to distribute flyers promoting acceptance of ex-gays. Former homosexuals and their supporters are ridiculed and forced to live in silence. Our nation’s schools deny students with unwanted same-sex attractions any support or fact-based information that feelings can and do change.”
He said PFOX has distributed informative flyers in some of the largest school districts in the country.
“PFOX’s one-page flyer gives students more complete information on sexual orientation and urges tolerance for all. Yet many GSA clubs have opposed our flyers even though they demand equality for gays. Equality exists when both gay and ex-gay organizations have equal access to students on the issue of sexual orientation. Gay groups should not be the only ones to have access to students on the issue of sexual orientation.”