Contact: Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute, 847-948-7889; Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel, 202-255-1959; Linda Harvey, Mission America, 614-442-7998, Peter LaBarbera, Americans for Truth, 630-546-4439
TINLEY PARK, Ill., April 6 /Christian Newswire
/ -- A national coalition of pro-family organizations is urging parents to call their children out of school on April 17 if their local school will be permitting students or teachers to remain silent during instructional time for the Day of Silence. The Day of Silence (DOS) is a political action formally sponsored by the partisan political action group, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
(GLSEN), since 2001.
The implicit purpose of the Day of Silence is to undermine the belief that homosexuality is immoral. It is the belief of the sponsors of the Walkout that parents should no longer passively accept the political usurpation of taxpayer- funded public school classrooms through student silence.
If schools permit student silence during instructional time, teachers either create activities around student silence or exempt silent students from any activity that involves speaking. In some schools, even teachers are permitted to remain silent during their classes.
DOS participants have a captive audience, many of whom disagree with and are made uncomfortable by the politicization of their classroom. Many students and teachers dislike the DOS because its implicit political message generates dissension within the school community for an entire day every year.
According to the Day of Silence website, last year "Hundreds of thousands of students at more than 8,000 schools participated," which means that hundreds of thousands of students at 8,000 schools remained silent during instructional time, and yet public school administrators persist in telling gullible parents that this political action is not disruptive to the educational process. www.dayofsilence.org/content/truth.html
"Last year, our organization fielded hundreds of calls from concerned parents and school officials, who wanted to know more about the Day of Silence and who did not want to be associated with it in any way," said Linda Harvey of Mission America. "This day is not about 'tolerance' as it claims, but about forcing propaganda and acceptance of high-risk behavior into the schools with no opposing views allowed."
Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute acknowledges that "all of civilized society must oppose bullying, but GLSEN and the DOS seek to combat bullying by the illegitimate means of using public education to affirm volitional homosexual behavior as moral despite the fact that many taxpayers view it as immoral."
Schools have a legal right to require verbal student participation. According to the ACLU and Lambda Legal, a "school can regulate what students say . . . and it can also insist that students respond to questions, make presentations, etc."
Parents are encouraged to call their children's middle schools and high schools to ask whether the administration and teachers will permit students to remain silent during class on the Day of Silence. If so, parents can express their opposition by calling their children out of school on that day and sending letters of explanation to their administrators, their children's teachers, and school board members.
Endorsed by: Abiding Truth Ministries; AFA Michigan; AFA Pennsylvania; AFA National; Americans for Truth; Association of Maryland Families; Called2Action; Campaign for Children and Families; Citizens for Community Values of Ohio; Coalition of Conscience; Community Issues Council; Concerned Women for America National; Concerned Women for America Washington; Culture Campaign; Faith2Action; Faith, Family & Freedom Alliance; Illinois Family Institute; Indiana Voice; Liberty Alliance Action; Liberty Counsel; Maine Family Policy Council; MassResistance; Mission America; Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX)