Day of Silence coming to your school?
[Tim LeFever] 4/7/06
to a memo from four associate superintendents in the Sacramento
City Unified School District, that District’s Board of
Education is expected to approve a resolution that will proclaim
a Day of Silence “to recognize
the silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people
due to discrimination everyday in our society.”
resolution is rife with references to the harassment and discrimination
that affect not only lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
(LGBT) students, but apparently “straight allied youth
and adults.” The consequence of such harassment, the
resolution states, is that the victims are “effectively
denied equal access to an equal education.”
Tim LeFever is Chairman of the Board of Capitol
Resource Institute, California's leading pro-family grassroots advocacy
group. [go to Guest index]
doubt, LGBT individuals have traditionally been regarded as
different and even stigmatized by the broader population. That
broader population has been asked, justifiably, to show tolerance
for this nonconformity. But, in this proposed resolution and
legislation pending in the California Legislature, the plea
for toleration has morphed into a demand for indoctrination.
go without saying that in schools, and in society in general,
harassment exists for many more reasons than real or perceived
sexual identity. It should also go without saying that the
underlying issue to this resolution, the acceptability of homosexuality,
is controversial. Clearly, a major portion of the population
has moral, even religious objections to such behavior. And
most of these objectors do not express their objections through
harassment or violence.
resolution seeks to use the authority of the school to sanction
a showing of solidarity with a specific group of potential
victims of harassment. In doing so, schools are not being asked
to tolerate, but to advocate for the acceptability of homosexuality.
As this resolution
is being debated, California’s Senate Judiciary Committee
has just passed out of committee SB 1437 requiring that public
school social science curriculum show the contributions of
the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
It is not
that these government bodies are taking the wrong position
on the issue of homosexuality; it is that they are taking any
position at all. Not that long ago, the sexual nonconformists
felt shame for their nonconformity. Increasingly, those who
disapprove of this nonconformity are being stigmatized.
One mild e-mail on the subject of the resolution encourages readers to “Counter
the Christian Right on Day of Silence Resolution”. The less restrained
have predictably begun to label the resolution opponents as “homophobic”.
The stated goal of eliminating harassment has given way to the transfer of
party is in favor of violence or harassment aimed at LGBT individuals.
But where is the tolerance for the beliefs of those who are
convinced that this nonconformity is wrong or even immoral?
School is mandatory for minors, and private education is not
an option for most. Shouldn’t a parent be able to teach
a child that certain behavior is wrong without the threat that
the school will counter this teaching?
should the morally opposed student react to the school mandated
silence? Their own silence could communicate sympathy on this
issue. A refusal to be silent runs the risk of being labeled “homophobic” or
otherwise harassed for these beliefs. Should we expect a subsequent,
school board sanctioned day of silence for all students who
have been harassed for their moral opposition to homosexuality?
advocated silence does not promote free thought. It silences
opposition. In this case, it is the government that should
remain silent. CRO
2006 Capitol Resource Institute