Day of Silence at West Chester Schools

Day of Silence at West Chester Schools

Published: Apr 8, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Fred Fonseca

April 8, 2010

On Friday April 16th the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) will sponsor an all day “action event” called “Day of Silence” at WCASD high schools. The GLSEN organizing manual explains: “Day Of Silence is designed to draw attention to the bullying and harassment faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students… participants take a vow of silence and distribute or wear speaking cards with information about anti-LGBT bias and ways for students and others to end the silence.”

At East H.S. this will be the fourth annual “Day of Silence” event yet many parents are still unaware. If you are concerned enough to call your school, officials try to spin the event as being about bullying in general. They also disingenuously claim participation is voluntary. Students sitting in a room for 40 minutes while the teacher conducts class in silence become unwitting participants in the protest. With a table set up at the main entrance, signs posted throughout the building and teachers remaining silent, a student attending school on April 16th cannot avoid this day long demonstration.

The GLSEN with assistance from the ACLU has been successful in setting up a nation wide network in high schools. Through Gay Lesbian Straight Alliance clubs the GLSEN exerts pressure on school officials to permit a “Day of Silence”. Inspired by these successes, the GLSEN is organizing an additional action event for schools called “Transgender Day of Remembrance”. The group is also hard at work on “Day of Silence” for middle schools and preparing “educational” programs for elementary schools.

Having my children spend their entire day immersed in a protest orchestrated by the GLSEN goes beyond school safety and is not what I bargained for when I enrolled them in public school. Many of us have gay friends and family members who we love dearly, but homosexuality remains a controversial and complex social issue. Imposing gay activism on the captive audience of students struggling through their teen years is unfair and unacceptable.

No student should be subjected to harassment or bullying for any reason. Parents expect schools to take action whenever such behavior is suspected. Schools must have programs designed to prevent bullying, but these programs should not single out specific groups of students. Furthermore, schools should be teaching students how to become good citizens not activists.

To make your voice heard, please contact:

Superintendent Dr. Jim Scanlan @ or call 484-266-1001

East High School Principal Dr. Richard F. Dunlap, Jr. @ or call 484-266-3801

West Chester Area School Board  c/o Pauline Bachtle, Board or call 484-266-1125

or by Traditional Mail

West Chester Area School Board  c/o Pauline Bachtle, Board Secretary

Spellman Administration Building

829 Paoli Pike

West Chester, PA 19380