But a coalition of conservative, Christian, and pro-family groups contend that the “Day of Silence” is little more than a tool of radical homosexuals to engage teens in “gay” advocacy — and to recruit some of the more vulnerable ones into the destructive lifestyle along the way. One of those groups, Mission America, encouraged parents to keep their kids home from school on that day.
“GLSEN’s Day of Silence, which began on college campuses and has now infiltrated even middle schools, exploits anti-bullying sentiment to undermine the belief that homosexual acts are immoral,” explained Linda Harvey, Mission America’s founder and president. “GLSEN shamelessly exploits teen suicide in order to create a climate of hysteria which they then use to falsely impute culpability for teen suicide to conservative moral beliefs.”
Harvey, who has studied and monitored the homosexual activist network for years, said the goal of GLSEN and other “gay” groups is to change the nation’s social and political climate so that it becomes virtually impossible for those embracing conservative and Christian values to express their views. “The cultural vehicle of choice for this radical social experiment is public education,” Harvey said. “What a strategic coup for homosexualists: use our money to capture the hearts and minds of our children.”
Harvey noted that the efforts of GLSEN and its fellow-travelers become more brazen and audacious each year, as they target ever-younger children through “anti-bullying” initiatives; through efforts to nationalize “comprehensive” sex ed; through laws mandating positive portrayals of homosexuals in school curricula; and through a cornucopia of promotional events like the Day of Silence, National Coming Out Day, Ally Week (another GLSEN scheme), and Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The Mission America leader challenged that it is not enough for parents and their kids to passively sit by while schools are co-opted by homosexuals for their own agenda. “Our complacence makes us complicit in the damage done to our children and our culture,” Harvey said. “Moreover, we teach our children by example to be cowardly conformists. It’s time to resist and there’s no easier way to resist than to call your children out of school on the Day of Silence.”
“When administrators refuse to listen to reason and when they allow the classroom to be exploited for political purposes, parents must take action,” she said. “If they don’t, the politicization of the classroom and curricula will increase.”
Another conservative group, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), offered a downloadable flyer they encouraged parents, students, and educators to distribute during the “Day of Silence.” The flyer is intended to offer hope and direction to individuals struggling with “unwanted same-sex attractions.”
PFOX explained that young people today are being encouraged by homosexual groups to identify as “gay” at earlier ages. The PFOX flyer “explains that children do not have to prematurely label their entire future lives as ‘gay,’” according to a PFOX press release.
Greg Quinlan. President of PFOX, noted that school-based pro-homosexual clubs — euphemistically called “Gay-Straight Alliances” (GSA), are openly critical, and even verbally abusive, toward those who have left the homosexual lifestyle. “Former homosexuals and their supporters are ridiculed and forced to live in silence,” Quinlan said. “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 that with homosexuals and their supporters relegated to self-enforced silence for a day, others have a perfect opportunity “to distribute ex-gay information without interference or harassment from any gay activist faculty or GSA clubs.”
He said that the brief 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.”
Matthew Staver of Liberty Counsel, a conservative legal advocacy group, noted that despite GLSEN’s attempts to bully school districts into participating in its day of silence, there are rules that schools must enforce. “School teachers should be aware that students do not have the right to remain silent when they are called upon by teachers,” he said. “Conduct on the part of a student that causes a substantial disruption or material interference with school activities is not protected under the First Amendment. Students cannot learn if they refuse to participate in class, and they harm other students’ experience by not contributing to a dialogue of learning.”
Staver emphasized that the Day of Silence “is not about tolerance or bullying. It is about pushing a sexual agenda. Students and staff who disagree with a radical sexualized agenda are demonized and made to feel like outsiders.” He added that “children should be afforded a rigorous education opportunity and not be forced to accept a radical sexualized agenda subsidized with tax dollars. Parents and lawmakers should take the time to learn about the extreme views of GLSEN and the intolerance promoted by the Day of Silence.”
In response to this year’s Day of Silence, the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family held its own “Day of Dialogue” April 19, intended to offer Christian students an opportunity to speak out about their faith, particularly in context of gender issues. “What it does is try to create a safe space for students to be able to express their faith-based point of view on hot topics that are in schools these days — like bullying, gender identity, sexuality,” explained Focus on the Family spokeswoman Candi Cushman. “So this equips Christian teens to respond to those messages in a confident way, to articulate their biblical perspective in a Christ-centered and a loving manner.”
Cushman explained that the next generation of Christian leaders need to be equipped to speak out with authority and confidence on issues that impact the culture. “Students don’t have to feel like they have to keep their faith to themselves,” she said. “We want them to feel confident about sharing what Christ’s love has done for them and how God has a good plan for every detail in students’ lives, including their relationships, their sexuality, and their souls.”