Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Day of Silence

Religion is not the only thing that doesn't belong in school. I do not believe public schools are the place for certain types of political activism as well.

Did you visit the above link? Did you look at the list of schools that are participating? Southold is one of them..."right here in River City...."

In trying to be so politically correct as not to offend anyone, we are ending up offending everyone.


Nan Patience said...

I agree.

j-m said...

And, I wonder, how many kids who get involved really know what it's all about, anyway, or just along for the ride, for something to do?

Now, when I was in jr. high school, back in the Stone Age, the h.s. Bio. teacher led a protest against Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant, with arrests and everything. (That was during "No Nukes", Carly Simon, James Taylor and all that.)

Mom of 3 said...

Protesting a nuclear plant makes sense, I would think you would be hard pressed to find a person who would disagree with that. Homosexualtiy is a divisive issue, and not one to be discussed with a bunch of kids from varied backgrounds. Especially at the Junior High School level.

Anonymous Blogger said...

I agree too.

MamaCole said...

I disagree. Children are bullied and abused in school because of their sexual orientation. That is as wrong as abuse or bullying because of the color of one's skin.

All the people I know and love who are gay have affirmed to me that they were born that way. It wasn't their choice. Why would they choose a lifestye that is so universally unaccepted? It doesn't make sense.

I'm glad that these children can feel accepted and protected in their school environment.

This isn't a political issue. It's an issue of diversity and awareness. If parents don't want their children to participate, they can keep them home that day. If they feel it will be confusing, they can discuss it with their children.

Anonymous Blogger said...

I feel the need to elaborate my answer that I agree. I think that as a society we should enforce laws that would stop bullying and harassment of any person, child, adult, regardless of their race, gender, sexual preference, disability etc... There are so many children out there that are bullied for no reason. There are also so many children bullied because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. I see that already with my 3.5 yr old who has limited speech and uses sign language to communicate. People are mean, children are mean. I think that we should teach acceptance of every type of person/culture in our world. That acceptance starts at home and should be continued in school. We should be taught to accept, respect, and love each other. I think that the schools should have a day to promote acceptance of each other and continue that each and every day. Having said that, we should not focus on just homosexuality on this Day of Silence. I do not agree with that. It should be about accepting and respecting every one.

6FM said...


I am really surprised at some of your responses. It is rare that MamaCole and I agree on an issue (trust me MamaCole)... but she is right on here.

Look, why is it appropriate to lead an anti-war rally or an anti-nuke plant rally in a school but NOT OK for students to "choose" to participate in a nationwide "student organized" event to call attention to prejudice with respect to sexual orientation.

Like I said, I am SURPRISED at the hypocrisy.

I understand resisting "school-sponsored" events that promote political or social agendas. What I don't understand is why anyone would have a hard time with students wanting to organize and become activists for ANY cause. We should applaud them.

I have a question for all of those who commented here.

If a child in your school system wanted to organize his/her own "day of silence" in memory of soldiers who have lost their lives in the war in Iraq, would you have the same reaction?

I think student activism should be encouraged... regardless of the issue.

j-m said...

So, we've opened another can of worms. Some issues are more divisive than others. Yes, schoolchildren should be taught about freedom of speech, and highschoolers encouraged to speak out, protest, etc., taught the correct way to do it, given historic role models (Ghandi, No Nukes, etc.) but jr high, middle, elem., I think should not be protesting. What if it were abortion that was being protested, one way or the other? Are these things we want debated before high school?

Just as psychologists were strongly urging parents and schools to limit children's exposure to the media blitz of 9-11, there is a time and place and appropriate age for dealing with certain types of issues, whether it be war, social issues, or whatever. Others, like the environment, is appropriate at very young ages, i.e. even toddlers should be taught to recycle, to not waste water, etc, to develop a "green" consciousness young. I don't think all issues are created equal (ie. a clean environment vs. social issues.)

6FM said...

I recognize your points, Jean-Marie. You make some good arguments and I agree with you on some level, but I think the "National Day of Silence" is being blown WAY out of proportion and the discussion regarding the day itself has gone off track.

Did anyone commenting actually read EXACTLY what the National Day of Silence is?

If not, this is the crux:

Anyway, I still don't see the big deal. It is not like kids are going to be running around in t-shirts that say "It's Cool to Be Queer" and egging other students to come over to the dark side. This is NOT school sponsored and ANY kid should have the freedom to partake in such a protest. Again, I think they should be applauded.

If YOU, as a parent, are concerned that your child may read the "speaking cards" that protesters will be wearing... again... I don't get it... Are you afraid they will ask you what a lesbian is?



I remember reading in the Suffolk Times about some students from Southold who participated in this event last year and I think we should be proud of them for not only participating, but putting themselves out there without fear.

Maybe I'll stay silent on April 25 just to show my support.


I'll bet a lot of people would like THAT!


j-m said...

That's not the point. Students of a certain age should be encouraged in freedom of speech, protest, etc. I think that bullying, on any level and for any reason, should be eradicated in any way we can. It starts so young, and destroys lives. Kids are bullied for religious reasons, ethnic background, financial status, physical features, you name it...sometimes they are bullied just because they CAN be...sexual orientation certainly does not have the corner on that market. My issue is timing-appropriateness.

And, as far as that goes, I have never been afraid to have any kind of discussion with my kids. If we, as parents, can't discuss everything openly and honestly with our kids, we have no business being parents. But it must be at the appropriate time. (Do I discuss rape, prostitution, surgical procedures, other sexual issues before they're ready? No.) Balance is everything.

6FM said...

I agree Jean Marie, but I am still failing to see where this is being done on the Elem and Middle School levels... unless I missed something.

That said, don't forget that this years "Day of Silence" is in memory of an 8th grader who was murdered because of his sexual orientation.

Now, I think bullying SHOULD be an issue that is discussed in schools... A LOT... sponsored by the schools, as well... there should be community forums on the issue.

It is the issue of "sexual diversity" that is too taboo to be mentioned on those levels and THAT is why I believe it is important for these kids to participate.

Luna said...

I find it interesting that many of you agree that "activism" should be encouraged, but only for certain issues. Only issues YOU are comfortable with. How convenient.

It would also seem to me that if anyone is that interested in censoring what goes on in their child's school as far as "free speech" (or, no speech at all, in this case) is concerned, that you send them to private or Catholic School where there IS no such thing. Then you won't have to worry about them turning gay ;)

Nan Patience said...

Wow, what a debate! Haven't checked back in a while to see what others had to say. Interesting...