Quote of the day

"We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing. "

-Ralph Waldo Emerson




Friday, February 29, 2008

Coalition calls for an end to the Day of Silence at Mount Si High School:




February 27, 2008

An open letter to the Gay/Straight Alliance at Mount Si High School:

The Coalition to Defend Education is a group of parents, students, and community members that are working to ensure that our schools are safe, that they provide an excellent education in academic subjects, and that the learning environment is free of bias.

We feel strongly that the Day of Silence works against the GSA’s goals of acceptance and inclusion. We appeal to you to not request the Day of Silence at MSHS. Please know that we are not trying to silence you or minimize your experiences. We just don’t believe that the Day of Silence helps your cause.

The basic problem is that the Day of Silence doesn’t have a positive message, only a message of protest. We expected the goal to be acceptance, but the stated purpose is “to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and discrimination in schools.” The Day is motivated by anger at unfair treatment. It excites strong emotions and heightens resentment for all students, with no positive resolution for those feelings. The end result is increased tension, and ultimately more persecution of gay students.

We know you are angry at real prejudice and mistreatment. We know it is emotionally satisfying to vent your anger. If your true goal, however, is understanding and acceptance for the long term, not just feeling better for a day, you should abandon the Day of Silence as it is currently planned. Gordon Hinckley wrote “A wise leader starves the problems and feeds the opportunities.” The Day of Silence is a clear case of feeding the problems. It focuses 100% on problems and 0% on opportunities. One thing that separates adults from children is the maturity to give up what feels good when it isn’t in your best interests, and the Day of Silence is not in your best interests.

Coalition members have had students at MSHS for many, many years. We have never seen tension as high as it is today. It is very clear that tension has steadily increased since the first Day of Silence two years ago. As it is based on anger, the Day of Silence fosters a culture of anger that highlights differences between students and sets friend against friend.

On the Day of Silence, each student must choose from three possible actions: 1) to join with you, wear an armband, and be silent; 2) to oppose you, not wear an armband and not be silent; or 3) to not participate at all, not wear an armband, and not be silent. Over 80% of students chose #3 last year. How do you (and your supporters) tell the difference between opponents and the vast majority of neutral students? You can’t, and you don’t. Every student is judged to be “pro-gay” or “anti-gay” in the angry climate of the Day. Neutral students tried staying home, only to be harassed as “anti-gay” the next day. Of course, emotions run hot when the theme of the day is anger. If you don’t believe this happens, consider this girl’s experience: She wanted to be neutral, but was severely criticized by her close friends (your supporters) for days after the Day of Silence because they saw her non-participation as “anti-gay.” Hers is not an isolated case; we know many other students with similar stories.

When persecuted, do you feel sympathetic to your tormentors? Are you surprised that students aren’t sympathetic to you when bullied on your day of protest? Many students are afraid to say anything against the Day (not against gays, but against the event) for fear of being branded homophobic or anti-gay. Neutral students can’t opt out, and they can’t say they don’t like it. Resentment builds and then spills out in ugly ways, such as the “Adam and Steve” skit and more private harassment of gay students.

Please note that we do not in any way defend or justify the abuse of gay students. This sort of anti-gay behavior is inexcusable. The administration must prevent it and to punish anyone who does it. Period.

We have heard GSA members will be trained to respect non-participants. This will have minor impact, at best. Acting kindly while protesting is difficult, and the GSA has no control over the scores of participants and the hundreds of neutral students who have been through two years of frustration. The Day of Silence is a high-tension event. Emotions will run high, and the problems experienced will occur again.

To understand what the Day of Silence is like for most students, imagine a day of protest for religious persecution. Students would have to choose whether to be “pro-religion” when they came through the school door and then wear a sign all day declaring their choice. Not wearing a sign or staying home would be considered “anti-religion” and hostile to people of faith. The “pro” and “anti” groups would call names, push each other in the hallways, and hold grudges. Other than the subject, the events, feelings, and results are not fundamentally different than the Day of Silence.

We believe that you want to be accepted, to be respected as individuals, and to have happy high school years. Anger will not help achieve any of your real goals. There are many ways that you can work for change without polarizing the students. Look for opportunities to build connections. Look for ways to reach out, not to vent. You can’t fight anger and prejudice by giving out anger and prejudice.

There is great danger these days in provoking tension and resentment. Sadly, we live in a world in which unstable people sometimes turn their frustration to extreme acts of violence. School shootings continue to be in the news. We hope and pray that Snoqualmie Valley will never see anything like that, but there has never been a greater need for calm, rational thought and for a united and respectful student body.

Please choose to not spread anger this year and do not request the Day of Silence during the school day.

Coalition to Defend Education



Our Reaction...

BOO! BOO!

We strongly disagree with this request.

Indeed, I personally find it vile and repugnant!

What you suggest is that the LGBT community and their supporters remain silent. That is unacceptable. If there is a problem at Mt Si with bigotry and bias it should be addressed and NOT ignored.


What's next? Should we get rid of black history month to appease the racists?

We strongly encourage the GSA to go forward with the Day of Silence and hold the memory of Lawrence King close to your hearts on that day.

And I encourage the Coalition to Defend Education (CoDE) to seek a more appropriate name.


Perhaps... the Coalition Ranting Against Poofer's

"Please choose to not spread anger this year and do not request the Day of Silence during the school day."


HOW DARE YOU! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!


It is not the GSA that brings the anger, it is the angry minded who choose ambivalence over the pursuit of equality and justice.


Just how many Catholics are bullied on Ash Wednesday for sporting ashes on their forehead? Do the Atheists wear 'I Love Catholics ... Dead!' t-shirts?


Do we see skits openly denegrating christians for their belief in Genesis and creation? Are classes in biology, physics and astronomy not openly challenging the validity of Genesis with facts and reason?


There is a good reason religion is not allowed in school. If your anger is fueled by your religion, perhaps you should seek another, more peaceful one.




-MSP


92 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Coalition sends out emails to supporters protesting the political agenda of the school.

This is a softball request to stop the Day of Silence. The are moderate in this appeal but not so moderate overall. How often do we offer silence to show respect? I think it is an incredible way to express support for all. They do not want people to be silent to show their beliefs. They do not want people to talk to share their beliefs. They basically do not want people to be able to express themselves at all if they have differing viewpoints from them.

Students who do not support the GSA or the Day of Silence can not participate. It is that simple.

This is not rocket science.

Anonymous said...

What if???

The Coalition to Defend Education is a group of parents, students, and community members that are working to ensure that our schools are safe, that they provide an excellent education in academic subjects, and that the learning environment is free of bias.

We feel strongly that the Day of Silence is an important aspect of bringing our school community together and acknowledging the challenges that young adults face every day. We are proud to offer our support to this important event and will encourage participation as a means of promoting tolerance and fighting discrimination, harassment and violence in our schools.

Anonymous said...

Every student is judged to be “pro-gay” or “anti-gay” in the angry climate of the Day. Neutral students tried staying home, only to be harassed as “anti-gay” the next day.

You people so miss the point!

As long as anyone is harassed for being gay or not gay there is a problem. Turning a blind eye will not fix it.

And you are parents? What are you teaching your kids?

I would hope you are teaching them that averyone is equal and should not be treated differently because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. If you are not telling them this, then YOU are part of the problem!

Anonymous said...

I'm a parent, and I'm NOT turning a blind eye. I know there are biases in the school, which is what I believe the Coalition is trying to address -- for all students. It's not just a gay/straight issue. My daughter -- a senior at MSHS -- gets harassed because she's short. Is that her fault? Can she do anything to change that (well, except wear platforms maybe...)? The administration needs to focus on all harassment, not just harassment toward one specific group. Calling special attention to one group for a whole day just frustrates the rest of the students. What makes a GLBT student more special than my daughter?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

What makes a GLBT student more special than my daughter?

Nothing. That's why the DoS is sponsored by the Gay/Straight Alliance. The very name is one of unity and equality.

A young 15 year old boy was murdered in school 2 weeks ago because he was gay.

The more our kids explore the need for equality, the more equality they will foster.

Why are you against this?

MtSiParents said...

NOTE:

Posts with foul language will be discharged per my deities bidding.

Anonymous said...

The Gay straight alliance is coming across as a group full of people whose primary focus is to spread their opinions and ideas during the school day. Incorporating a bunch of students in something they don't want to be apart of. And don't say they can just choose not to and everything will be just fine and dandy. They in turn are labeled.

Anonymous said...

So maybe I should get my daughter and her friends to start a Short/Tall Alliance and sponsor a Day of Shortness, where maybe people who wish to show their support can walk around all day on their knees...

Anonymous said...

"Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence, a national youth movement protesting the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies in schools. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by harassment, prejudice, and discrimination. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward fighting these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today. What are you going to do to end the silence?"

Anonymous said...

"It was heartbreaking to learn about Lawrence King’s death, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family. King’s senseless death is a tragic example of the corrosive effect that bigotry and fear can have in our society. It’s also an urgent reminder that we need to do more in our schools to foster tolerance and an acceptance of diversity; that we must enact a federal hate crimes law that protects all LGBT Americans; and that we must recommit ourselves to becoming active and engaged parents, citizens and neighbors, so that bias and bigotry cannot take hold in the first place. We all have a responsibility to help this nation live up to its founding promise of equality for all."

- Senator Barack Obama

Anonymous said...

In response:

If your kid wants to start a Short/Tall alliance, more power to them. There is nothing stopping anyone from doing that. In fact, being short is just as natural a thing as being gay, being black, having freckles, or having an inherent gift for math ...it's nobody's choice, just part of their human make-up.

I would however be careful to not trivialize the discrimination the LGBTQ community faces. If your child is truly facing severe discrimination, being harassed, having her rights civil restricted, and dealing with well organized groups that are threatening her safety and well-being, then I think you have a worthy cause. If not, I'd rethink your comparison.

This Coalition to Defend Education is doing absolutely nothing of the sort...what they are doing, is trying to limit critical thinking skills and the possibility that--god forbid--their kids begin to think for themselves.
.

GSA parent of 2 (Juanita) said...

The Coalition's letter includes a quote from Gordon B. Hinckley, the former head of the Mormon Church who recently passed away. Thought it would be interesting to provide a link to some of LDS views on homosexuality:

http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_homosexuality.html

Obviously a website with its own "mission." However biased, its sources are well documented. If you can stomach it, it makes for some pretty entertaining reading.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the CoDE hasn't done their homework. From the dayofsilence.org:

The Day of Silence can be used as a tool to affect positive change – both personally and community-wide. The Day of Silence is designed to draw attention to the bullying and harassment faced by LGBT students everywhere. Silence is used as a tactic to provide a space for personal reflections about the consequences of being silent and silenced. The Day of Silence is an effort that can raise awareness on this issue, prompting people to talk and think about it. Think about what change is needed in your community and how the Day of silence can be a building block in your efforts to create change.

It goes on to offer this advice if there are people opposing the Day of Silence --

The issue at hand is the bullying, harassment, name-calling and violence that students see and face in our schools. The Day of Silence is an activity created and led by students to educate their peers and bring an end to this harassment. Those who do not support the Day of Silence often protest, but rarely contribute positively to finding ways to end anti-LGBT harassment. In the past, some individuals and groups have organized days in response to the Day of Silence. These events grossly mischaracterize and often simply misunderstand the basic purpose of the Day of Silence. Bringing attention to these events, which are so often based on mistruth, only adds a false credibility to their misinformation about the Day of Silence, GLSEN and the 450,000 American students taking action ----

While the CoDE's letter is well written and I do not doubt that the group believes it's intentions to be for the good, they need become part of the solution ... I believe the Day of Silence is MORE important than ever this year and URGE the CoDE to work with GSA to make this year's Day of Silence more successful.

Isn't it ironic that they want to keep the GSA from being silent on just one day, and instead ask them to remain silent every other day?

Then people in this blog equate being short or being Christian as somehow experiencing the same sort of discrimination that a LBGT student has? Please. Try to walk in the shoes of someone else for a moment. This day models approaches taken by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa and others who have accomplished more through peace than anyone who has taken up arms.

What the events of the past few weeks has accomplished is the opportunity for people to begin to recognize their own prejudice. This tends to make people uncomfortable. Some lash out, some organize to surround themselves with likeminded people to minimize the effects of feeling their prejudice. Some educate themselves and ask themselves why they are feeling so uncomfortable.

If you are in the last category, may I suggest you read Walter Wink, a Professor of Biblical Interpretation and an activist in the civil right movement against apartheid in South Africa. Two books I'd recommend are "The Powers that Be", with a message that violence is never redemptive, and unmasks the powers that groups such as the CoDE use to their advantage.

The second is "Homosexuality and Christian Faith". If you want a more intelligent interpretation to the scriptures that some use as a barrier to acceptance of the LGBT community, then this book is for you.

Sincerely,
Cindy Sattler

Anonymous said...

Anyone who agrees that there should be zero tolerance for ANY type of harassment should participate in the Day of Silence. It is protesting unacceptable behavior, not shoving an agenda down anyone's throat. It is WRONG to harass GLBTQ students. Period. If you agree with that, then participate. If not, you are saying it's ok.

Meagan Elliot

Anonymous said...

"It is WRONG to harass GLBTQ students. Period. If you agree with that, then participate. If not, you are saying it's ok."

See? There's that mentality. If you're not for 'em, you're against 'em. That's what our students face on Day of Silence. Let's just leave it out of the school, shall we??

Anonymous said...

Anonymous above says "See? There's that mentality. If you're not for 'em, you're against 'em. That's what our students face on Day of Silence. Let's just leave it out of the school, shall we??"

There are anti-harassment laws that make it illegal to just "leave it out of the school", honey.

What Day of Silence is trying to accomplish is to have students THINK about how their behavior every single day contributes to the subtle harassment of LGBTQ students. Would you like to also exclude "thinking" from schools?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous two above said: "See? There's that mentality. If you're not for 'em, you're against 'em."

I'm not talking about personal belief systems, I'm talking about behavior. Are you for or against the BEHAVIOR of LGBTQ harassment? It's not about if you're for or against "'em."

Meagan Elliot

Anonymous said...

Discrimination comes from disagreements. This day creates a lot of disagreements. Thus, more discrimination for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where I can go if I want to attend a GSA meeting? I want to learn more about the day of silence.

Anonymous said...

Go back on theses threads to the Dave Ross interview in which a student and GSA member talks about the Day of Silence.

The Day of Silence is a PEACEFUL demonstration that's not meant to judge anyone or show any kind of disrespect to students or school officials.

quote from a anon:
"See? There's that mentality. If you're not for 'em, you're against 'em. That's what our students face on Day of Silence. Let's just leave it out of the school, shall we??"


I can't believe that anyone would think the students at Mt Si are so narrow as to think that if your not participating your against the GSA. Why do some of you paint these young adults as children that see only in terms of black and white?

MSHS GSA said...

I am officer of the GSA and a participant on Day of Silence for the last two years it has run at Mount Si. I have chosen to participate this year obviously for the main reason: to silence the silence of LGBT people. One thing I have come to realize though is that since Lawrence King's death, the day means so much more to me. When Rachel K. killed herself earlier this year, the entire community came together and mourned her unfortunate suicide, including myself. As horrible as this event was and how it affected everyone, there was this unbelievable feeling of love in everyone, as if the entire curtain that defined our differences that separated us dissolved into nothing but love and understanding of each other and our grief. To me, this is partially what the day is about: spreading the awareness that this intolerance of LGBT youth, since it is a serious issue, much like suicide, that out of this sadness we can breed compassion and this love that is to overcome the intolerance and violence. Therefore, i personally feel that by empowering students who are coming into their own that by allowing them to participate in a day that they find worthwhile teaches, in the end, tolerance, understanding, empathy, and love. I am dedicating my personal participation to this by mourning Lawrence King and how this prejudice has to be recognized. I don't feel that EVERYONE has to participate, only those who choose to feel the necessity to. For those who wont, that is your choice and I respect you for making a choice. YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO PARTICIPATE NOR WILL I MAKE YOU FEEL BAD FOR NOT PARTICIPATING :) I just want to spread awareness and love.

~Jacqueline Ferland, President of the Mount Si High School Gay-Straight Alliance

Anonymous said...

Whatever the real intention is, in the end its the result that matters. It does to some degree matter what the day is about but what matters more is what the day will become.

Anonymous said...

Your intention is a good one. To spread love and awareness. However, given the way our school and society works, this day is not something that will leave kids coming out of the day feeling loved. There must be something that we can do that wont separate the school and yet will promote awareness about ALL kinds of discrimination. But by focusing on one part of discrimination we are breaking apart our school even more.

I have already lost friends over disagreements on this day and its several months away. If we are several months away from the day and people are stressing over it because of their differences then what discrimination will there be when the day actually comes?

Some hate it for the wrong reasons and I have stood up against them. Some love it and in turn discriminate on those who disagree with it.

Just because your intent is good doesn't mean that the end result is good. Discrimination is bad but we can't solve it with more discrimination. Whether that is your intent or not, its whats happening.

Anonymous said...

Is there no end to your stubborness?

Anonymous said...

Whatever the real intention is, in the end its the result that matters. It does to some degree matter what the day is about but what matters more is what the day will become.

We would not have gotten very far in the civil rights movement with an attitude like this.

Yes in the end it is the result that matters, and that result will be equality for all students including LGBT students.

I grew up around racial bigotry in the South as a white kid. I would get in trouble at school when I stepped between white kids harassing a black kid. As a peacemeker I would be charged with starting a fight and would get swats with a nasty board by the principal.

I would do it again, because when you fail to stand up for justice, you are equally culpable in the injustice being waged.

Many of these comments seem to draw a line between christians and gays. Are you assuming that gays are godless? Or are they christians that actually practice the teachings of christ and you are too blinded by hate to see this?

Civil rights for the LGBT community will be achieved, it's just a matter of time. No one can stop a movement for equality, at least not in this country!

You would all do well to accept your LGBT neighbors now. It would please God.

Anonymous said...

Is this day about gay rights or about anti-discrimination? Because both of those things are completely different. I thought this was about discrimination. And for your information I also am I white kid that grew up in the deep south. I know all about racism. And I stood up for the blacks, the whites and everyone in between. I also stand up for the gay community in their wish for anti discrimination. I am strictly saying that this will not achieve the goal you seek.

Anonymous said...

As I see it, gay rights is a political issue. Anti discrimination is not. So if this day is about promoting gay rights to marriage benefits then that changes my views completely.

Anonymous said...

It has NOTHING to do with marriage benefits!

It has everything to do with everyone enjoying the same civil rights.

Anonymous said...

As I see it, gay rights is a political issue.

Tell that to Lawrence King!

He was 15. Do you think he cared about the 'political issue'.

Anonymous said...

Please inform me then. What civil rights does the gay community not have? Because all I'm aware of is their lack of marriage benefits. I'm asking this strictly because I want to know and this is one of the few places I can come to find out.

Anonymous said...

I thought Lawrence King was killed because he was gay (discrimination). Not because of his civil rights.

Anonymous said...

Please inform me then. What civil rights does the gay community not have?

Employment discrimination.
Health insurance discrimination.
Lending discrimination.
Housing discrimination.
Partner visitation benefits.
Partner medical decision making benefits.

To name a few.

Only a few states have laws against most of this, including Washington. It is these laws Mr. Hutcherson fights so avidly against.

Anonymous said...

I thought Lawrence King was killed because he was gay (discrimination). Not because of his civil rights.

I'll assume you are being facetious!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for telling me. Those are discrimination issues except for the ones on civil rights, which is a political stance on marriage. So of those I think the only ones that are civil rights related are the ones below:

Partner visitation benefits.
Partner medical decision making benefits.

Those are poltical stances. I am not saying that its right. I am just saying that I was completely unaware that this day was not only about discrimination but about civil rights. That is a very controversial topic.

So I will ask again. What is the purpose of this day?
Is it about civil rights (marriage benefits)?
Discrimination?
Or both?

Anonymous said...

Look at how you are discriminating against me now. You disagree with me and as a result are stereotyping me when you really don't even know me. Please calm down. I'm not trying to be on anyones bad side. I just want to understand.

Anonymous said...

Just plz explain to me what this day is about so that I can truly understand. And stop getting all mad because we have conflicting views. This is exactly why I think this day is a bad idea. Because of us.

Anonymous said...

So I will ask again. What is the purpose of this day?
Is it about civil rights (marriage benefits)?
Discrimination?
Or both?


this specific day in the schools is focused on the lack of acceptance by the majority of the LGBT community. When kids can learn that they are still the same, regardless of their race, religion, sex, or gender orientation, the sooner this generation will establish equality under the law for everyone.

And how can you say that discrimination is NOT a civil rights issue? If you were denied health care coverage because you were christian, would that be fair? Does that not impune your basic human and civil rights?

Anonymous said...

Go watch sicko by Micheal Moore and see how many people get denyed health insurance for completely unrelated issues. The health insurance companies are a dirty buisness and is another political issue as it raises questions about socialized medicine.

Anonymous said...

Health insurance companies are nasty to begin with. And as wrong as it is, they do have a right to deny peoples coverage for a number of reasons. Its not just the gay community that gets denyed health coverage.

JC said...

I don't understand this false disconnect between being allegedly for equality, but against equal marraige rights. I know it is against some people's religous beliefs, but divorce and remarraige, interfaith and in some cases interacial marriages also violate some groups religous beliefs. However these groups, simply don't perform those types of marriages, they don't fight against thier legal recognition. Why are same sex relationships so different that these religious groups cannot take a similiar attitude towards their legal recognition?

How can you deny any legal recognition of same-sex relationships without making the argument that they are somehow inferior to these other legally recognised relationships that your faith opposes? Isn't that action, at it's core discriminatory? When the leaders of SBC argued against inter-racial marriages during the civil rights struggle, wasn't that discriminatory? If thier faith didn't excuse their position then, why should your faith shield you from criticism of your postion now?

Anonymous said...

I personally believe the government should stay out of marriage because it is a religious thing. But the term marriage came from a particular religion. This is wrong to me. Government should stay out of religion completely. But this is my POLITICAL stance. It has nothing to do with discrimination.

Anonymous said...

So yes you are denyed marriage benefits. But is it because of discrimination? Or because it doesn't fit the original definition of marriage. And by original I mean, when these benefits were created. Because if we still stand for that definition of marriage its strictly between men and women. So what the gay community is arguing is over what our GOVERNMENT should do about this disagreement. Should we allow everyone marriage benefits? Or should we cut it out completely because it intereferes with the govrnments ideas on religion?

Anonymous said...

I think that there is an argument over the wrong thing. The gay community argues over whether or not they should get benefits. I argue that its controversial because its a religious idea.

I believe that the gay community should stand up and point out that its a religious idea and thus is wrong! Instead of saying that its a discrimination issue.

Because I dont discriminate. I just dont see how giving the gay people rights is going to fix the real problem of religious interference in our government.

Anonymous said...

And why cant someone just straight up tell me what the real meaning of this day is?
Is it discrimnation?
Or civil rights?
Or both?

Or is it an unanswerable question.

Anonymous said...

I personally believe the government should stay out of marriage because it is a religious thing. But the term marriage came from a particular religion.

In this country, marriage between individuals incurs certain civil benefits or rights to those individuals to make decisions related to their union. As there are civil unions already for the non-religious, I find it difficult not to extend these same civil rights to any two individuals that seek a union.

There is no 'sanctity' in marriage, if there was 6 in 10 christians would not be divorced!

But alas, the DoS is not about marriage, it is about aquality and treating everyone as Jesus suggested;

Matthew 7:12
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Anonymous said...

So yes you are denyed marriage benefits. But is it because of discrimination? Or because it doesn't fit the original definition of marriage.

At one point, 40 states in this country forbade the marriage of a white person to a person of color. In other words, people could not marry a person of the "wrong" race. Marriages between whites and persons of color were decried as "immoral" and "unnatural". Overwhelming numbers of Americans agreed. A Virginia Judge upheld that State's ban on interracial marriages saying, in a language with the same rhetorical tone as used against gay people today:

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

Despite the public opposition to interracial marriage, in 1948, the California Supreme Court led the way in challenging racial discrimination in marriage and became the first state high court to declare unconstitutional a ban on interracial marriage. Perez v. Lippold, 32 Cal.2d 711 (1948). The Court pointed out that races don't marry each other, people do. Restricting who can marry whom based on that characteristic alone was therefore race discrimination. The court decision was controversial, courageous and correct: at that time, 38 states still forbade interracial marriage, and 6 did so by state constitutional provision.

Anonymous said...

So yes you are denyed marriage benefits. But is it because of discrimination? Or because it doesn't fit the original definition of marriage. And by original I mean, when these benefits were created. Because if we still stand for that definition of marriage its strictly between men and women. So what the gay community is arguing is over what our GOVERNMENT should do about this disagreement. Should we allow everyone marriage benefits? Or should we cut it out completely because it intereferes with the govrnments ideas on religion?

Same argument, sixty years removed...

At one point, 40 states in this country forbade the marriage of a white person to a person of color. In other words, people could not marry a person of the "wrong" race. Marriages between whites and persons of color were decried as "immoral" and "unnatural".

Overwhelming numbers of Americans agreed. A Virginia Judge upheld that State's ban on interracial marriages saying, in a language with the same rhetorical tone as used against gay people today:

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

Despite the public opposition to interracial marriage, in 1948, the California Supreme Court led the way in challenging racial discrimination in marriage and became the first state high court to declare unconstitutional a ban on interracial marriage. Perez v.
Lippold, 32 Cal.2d 711 (1948).

The Court pointed out that races don't marry each other, people do. Restricting who can marry whom based on that characteristic alone was therefore race discrimination.

The court decision was controversial, courageous and correct: at that time, 38 states still forbade interracial marriage, and 6 did so by state constitutional provision.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a christian. So you don't have to persuade me that the bible is controversial. And yes our government has in the past not allowed marriage because of race. Which is why they should have gotten rid of marriage in our government a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Because now look at us. We are fighting the same issue. This issue on marriage would not have appeared had we removed this religious idea of marriage when we saw problems with it before.

Anonymous said...

Which is why they should have gotten rid of marriage in our government a long time ago.


Excellent thought!

The concept is queer to begin with.

Anonymous said...

So why dont we get rid of it now instead of waiting another 60 years for this same issue to pop up in a different form? This is the issue. Its all about government, not dsicrimination.

Anonymous said...

The concept is queer? What does that mean?

Anonymous said...

So why dont we get rid of it now instead of waiting another 60 years for this same issue to pop up in a different form? This is the issue. Its all about government, not dsicrimination.

Feel free to lobby that effort!

And so long as 'marriage' is governed by statute, the issue is discrimination.

We are a nation of laws, in theory, equal justice under the law.

Religion should play no part in our secular government.

Anonymous said...

The concept is queer? What does that mean?

Main Entry: queer
Pronunciation: \╦łkwir\
Function: adjective
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: 1508
1 a: worthless, counterfeit [queer money] b: questionable, suspicious
2 a: differing in some odd way from what is usual or normal b (1): eccentric, unconventional (2): mildly insane : touched c: absorbed or interested to an extreme or unreasonable degree : obsessed.

Anonymous said...

This idea of marriage creates controversy. Which is why it should be left out of the schools. Even tho it is related to discrimination, that isnt the soul reason for disagreement.

Anonymous said...

This idea of marriage creates controversy. Which is why it should be left out of the schools.

The idea of a draft creates controversy.

The idea of war creates controversy.

Are these issues exempt from being discussed in the school? Why would you want to? What are you trying to hide? These kids are ready to vote, why should they not be informed?

Anonymous said...

There are so many ways for disagreement in this area. Thats why this isnt an issue for the students to deal with at school. It creates more discrimination.

So let me understand your views:

The day of silence is about marriage benefits because that in itself is connected to discrimination.

The day of silence is about discrimination in our schools pointed towards the gay community.

The day of silence has nothing whatsoever to do with political views.

Am I correct?

Anonymous said...

They should be informed. However, they should be informed of both sides. If you are going to show the benefits to gay rights then also show the negatives. If you are going to show how the US did bad for enetering iraq then show what were the benefits.

Anonymous said...

This is why the coalition formed. Because of BIAS. Which means that only one stance is being taken and not all views are explored. And because of this, on the day of silence, we are separated.

Anonymous said...

The pros and cons of war and drafting should be explored. Not just "War is bad" or "Drafting is Good".
People disagree on whether or not giving the gay community benefits is beneficial to our country. Because it is a controversial issue it either needs to be taken out of our schools completely or shown on both sides.

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous. People disagree with you and you are stereotyped.

Gays are discriminated.
Those who disagree with gays are discriminated.

So why don't we have a day that recognizes all of the above instead of just one?

Anonymous said...

So let me understand your views:

The day of silence is about marriage benefits because that in itself is connected to discrimination.

The day of silence is about discrimination in our schools pointed towards the gay community.

The day of silence has nothing whatsoever to do with political views.

Am I correct?


NO

I don't know why you are hell bent on equating the DoS with gay marriage, but you are way off!

Somehow, somewhere, some kids are indoctrinated with the idea that gays are bad and it's OK to hurt them because they are gay.

That needs to be driven out of our schools, and that's part of what the DoS brings attention to, discriminating because of a difference. It's wrong! And it's wrong to bring gay marriage into the argument as it is not germaine.

Anonymous said...

Ok. I understand. I just thought it was when people starting comparing it to the civil rights movement. Well. I still think we need to recognize all forms of discrimination because its not cool to hurt anyone for any reason. Plus people are labeled on the DoS because it only shows one group who is being discriminated. Please, if the GSA wants to show that discrimination is bad then I support you. But recognize it in

religion
sexual orientation
race
political views
etc...

Every form of discrimination. Not just one group.

Anonymous said...

If the GSA has the day of silence which shows respect to the discriminated in the gay community.

Should there be a day where we recognize those who were discriminated on the day of silence for believing that the gay community shouldn't have a day of silence because it only shows one group thats being discriminated?

When can we end this?

How many people do we need to show the GSA that this isn't in the student's best interest?

Why can't the GSA do something that doesn't interfere with the school day?

Why can't the GSA hold a day where we show awareness to overall discrimination?

Anonymous said...

You cannot compare the 'day of silence' to 'ash wednesday'. Ash Wednesday is a day for Catholics to do something they feel is important, this does not affect anyone else. On 'day of silence' no one is suppose to talk, teachers cannot teach. Day of Silence should not be allowed in our schools for that fact, the kids are forced to choose a side and no matter what, neither choice is a win win situation.

Anonymous said...

After reading the 'letter' and your response to the 'letter' it seems to me as you are a very angry person. Why is it that you feel the need to have people believe in what you believe in, is it to be accepted? Christians are discriminated against daily and you don't see them asking the kids at MSHS to be silent for an entire day. I think your missing the point.

Dave Eiffert said...

One thing I get from all this is the sneaking suspicion that almost all the people against the Day of Silence are actually against the Day because it legitimizes the existance of GLBT people. I think all dialogue from us who feel differently should begin with the simmple and honest question "Do you feel that it is OK for a person to be GLBT?" If the answer is no, make note, but save your breath.

Anonymous said...

I think as it relates to MSHS as a public school environment the fundamental question is around student safety. Do GLBT (or fill in your own favorite blank) children feel safe in the school? As someone with two kids in area schools I can tell you that we do have a culture where it is okay to be rude to, make fun of, name call, generally be hostile about anyone and all things gay. More so than any other category you would fill in the blank with. There is a real safety and discrimination issue here. Is it safe to be openly or not so openly gay in our schools? Everything else just get collapsed into that - do we agree with homosexuality or not, do we believe in benefits, gay marriage, etc.? Those are issues but the fundamental issue facing MSHS again is safety.

THINK! said...

If this day took place 50 years ago and was about bringing attention to the fact that many African Americans felt silenced and threatened by racism and discrimination, would you still be so against it?

Think about that...and tell me if you think there's a diffence. If you are qucik to say there's a huge difference, then there's no point discussing this matter further.

Here's the situation: those opposed to the Day of Silence do not believe GLBTQ individuals are born that way

Those who support the Day of Silence understand that there is no choice in regards to one's sexual identity

If it's not that simple, then we've got some people out there who would have no problem banning the study of the civil rights movement, black history, this country's racist past, apartheid, etc. from schools--all of which are studied, by the way, to help students learn from past mistakes and to empower them to create change.

People have been asking what is the day of silence about, it's simple: it's about bringing attention to the fact that many students do not feel safe to speak about who they really are...that's it.

It is not political, it is not religious, it is not controversial... it's human. Schools ARE about promoting human equality, if you think that's part of an agenda or political belief and you want that out of classrooms, then I'm sad to say you yourself have a lot of learning to do.

Anonymous said...

"One thing I get from all this is the sneaking suspicion that almost all the people against the Day of Silence are actually against the Day because it legitimizes the existance of GLBT people"

This is stereotyping and totally untrue. This is one reason why people are against the day of silence.

I don't support the day of silence because it doesn't show the discrimination of everyone. Just one group. Also, it divides us into stereotypes such as the one above. Those who don't support it are thought to be against the gay community and are called ANTI-GAY. Which isn't accurate. It also interferes with teaching.

Do you see the Christians shutting up for a day because they have been told that their religion is bs?

What about the Jewish?
The African Americans?
The Native Americans?
The Females?
The Mormans?

These people are discriminated too.
You shouldn't just recognize yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Most people are discriminated for one reason or another throughout their life. Lets recognize everyone and stop dividing our school into stereotypes.

Anonymous said...

I don't support the day of silence because it doesn't show the discrimination of everyone. Just one group. Also, it divides us into stereotypes such as the one above. Those who don't support it are thought to be against the gay community and are called ANTI-GAY. Which isn't accurate. It also interferes with teaching.

"Do you feel that it is OK for a person to be GLBT?"

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think it is okay for people to be GLBT.

Yet I am stereotyped.

Anonymous said...

My son is gay and I still don't want Day of Silence in the school. Make it a before/after school activity and keep it out of the classrooms.

Mark Joselyn said...

This blog is informative but loses legitimacy as most choose to be anonymous. That says a lot, mostly that we seem unable to have open, honest and respectful conversation.
Perhaps if the community were to get behind the Day of Silence it would start a process of open communication and healing.

Mark Joselyn, parent of 3 students in the SVSD who is concerned that their education prepare them to live in our increasingly diverse world.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe parents have any true idea of what the "Day of Silence" is like at Mt. Si. Meaning, going to class for 6 periods a day, walking down the halls, eating lunch etc...

I'm not a parent, I'm a student. And I am suprised you all know so much about a day in my shoes, because last time I checked, there is only one adult in the classroom and thats the teacher.
Last year, and the year before I did not participate in the Day of Silence, simply because of my personal beliefs, some involving religion and some having nothing to do with religion.
I have nothing against being homosexual, I believe it is 100% your own choice and I'll like you all the same either way. But on the Day of Silence, I WAS labeled instantly, whether you think it or not. I was.
Most of you are on the outside looking in, and you should know that the Day of Silence is not just sugar puffs and frosting, its not just about equality for all, its not just about peace; it has its bad parts too. It DOES cause a massive amount of conflict, it DOES cause people to be hurt, and it DOES cause more hate. From both sides EQUALLY.
Do not say that the GSA and their supporters have nothing to do with the hatred thrown around, they have just as much hatred as people against homosexuality and personally, I think that it has gone way too far.
I don't hate anyone, and I'm tired of being told that I'm the problem. I'm not against the GSA,(I wish I could join the club to mix it up a little but I couldn't make the meetings)and I'm not against homosexuality, but I am against things that cause me to want to miss school, things that make me fear speaking my mind, and things that cause hate.

So parents, I am the neutral person, and I would like my voice to be heard the way I intend it.

BlackTsunami said...

If 80 percent of the students choose not to participate, then I am curious as to how so many folks felt harrassed by those who are for the Day of Silence.

And one more thing, I read about this Coalition to Defend Education. I invite others to check out its webpage. It sounds like a bit of astroturfing to me (i.e. they oppose Day of Silence because of the gay element, but mask their disagreement under the pretence that their concern is for ALL students.) Their site says they want to stop "indoctrination."

I strongly suggest that folks investigate this group to seek if they are credible or some front members backed up by folks like Ken Hutcherson

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous student.

Unfortunately your statement does not carry the same impact with your anonymity.

If you have something to say speak and and be recognized!

-Larry Smith, North Bend Resident

CindyS said...

This year’s Day of Silence will be held in memory of Lawrence King. What a powerful message for students to observe the day in silence to not only echo the silence LGBTQ students and their friends face every day, but to peacefully protest the type of violence and hatred that ended Lawrence King's life.

It seems like this simple message is being lost in all the rhetoric.

If what you feel is that the past two events have had flaws, then by all means, bring them to the GSA and help them make the event better. I agree that students who do not participate should not be labeled or subject to harassment.

I wasn't working at MSHS in 2007, but in 2006 I was there for the first event. Students participating in the day of silence were told that if talking was a necessary part of their academic day, then they were to talk. period. For example, Choir members pretty much sing, participation points for class discussions are a must. I participated by wearing a button, but my job required me to speak (answering the phone made staying silent difficult). Many staff participated in the same way.

To those of you with other reasons to want to "silence" the Day of Silence, take a lesson from the Grinch.

Remember what happened when he tried to stop Christmas from coming? As he listened for the crying ... he did hear a sound rising over the snow. It started in low. Then it started to grow.
But the sound wasn't sad! Why, it sound sounded merry! It couldn't be so! But it WAS merry! VERY!
He stared down at Whoville! The Grinch popped his eyes! Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise! Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all! He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

So, lets say for the sake of argument that the principal buckles under the pressure of a few vocal parents and declares that there will be no Day of Silence.

What if a student chooses not to talk on April 25th anyway? When they are walking through the halls, at lunch, or in a classroom where speaking isn't necessary, what will happen then?

Respectfully,
Cindy Sattler

Anonymous said...

"To Anonymous student.

Unfortunately your statement does not carry the same impact with your anonymity.

If you have something to say speak and and be recognized!

-Larry Smith, North Bend Resident"

I speak out plenty at school, to many different people about my feelings and beliefs. Simply because I choose to remain anonymous on and online blog does not lessen what I am saying. I mean, kids are supposed to be safe online right? =)

Mark Joselyn said...

It seems to me that the best course of action for parents, students, and staff is to get on board and to support this fine educational experience for all those who enter the High School on April 25. It should, as always, be a welcoming and diverse environment.
Those who choose not to speak should be respected as should those who choose not to participate, and there you have it. I don't get why this is such an issue. I do worry that the parents who voice strong opposition for reasons that escape me and seem intolerant of difference are passing this on to their kids and subsequently empowering them to be more disruptive than is otherwise acceptable. Such a belligerent attitude threatens the school environment. Please teach your children well and explain that tolerance is a blessing and this day provides a good opportunity to practice tolerance and seek understanding,

Respectfully,

Mark Joselyn

Anonymous said...

We are raised told that blogs and online places are not places to post our names.

Now that we have established that...

I am against intolerance of EVERYONE. Not just a select group.

Otherwise we might have like 30 days of silence for various groups unless we recognize everyone in one day. If we cant do that then we should just bag the day completely as it singles people out and labels them.

It also disrupts the classroom. Can we have a day that recognizes intolerance and doesnt interfere with teaching?

MtSiParents said...

Awesome post Cindy!

But I would have picked the Sneetches.

Karl Hilsmann said...

To GSA parent of 2 (Juanita)

Interestingly enough, you find fault the open GSA letter and attack it with an interesting tactic: You attack Pres. Hinckley’s comment - which was not regarding the gay issue - with direction to an anti-Mormon site whose bias is clear and unequivocal. Thus throwing into derision Mormons in an attempt to discredit them and by inference, the statement and so they must be discounted. I wonder how that would work for me if I employed a similar tactic and pointed people to an anti gay site? Seems to me I would be labeled a bigot and intolerant. Why is the reverse not true?

If you want to know what a Mormon believes, ask a Mormon. I had my horns removed some time ago and I promise not to steal your wife and children :-). Show some respect and get rid of the knee jerk response.

Sincerely,
Karl Hilsmann

-Parent of 2 boys in Mt. Si. Parent of 2 Mt. Si graduates. Mormon, conservative and not afraid to talk about it. Only wishes that if people want to know the beliefs of Mormons, to have them just ask one because we don't carry the plague regardless what our detractors think.

GSA supporter said...

If the letter quotes Hinkley, then why would it be inappropriate to question what the Mormon views on homosexuality are?

If you are willing to speak about them, have at it. The forum is definitely listening with open ears. No one is pointing fingers, all (Juanita Parent) did was point people to a site...and warned everybody that the site was clearly biased.

...sorry, but by quoting Hinkley, you are bringing a Mormon perspective into the mix. Just as bringing Hutcherson to a MLK assembly brings gay opposition into the mix. If the coalition doesn't want religion to be at the forefront of their argument, then they shouldn't be quoting Hinkley--a person who is solely known for his religious affiliation and leadership

I'm definitely interested to see what the Mormon take on homosexuality is-- I honestly don't know. Mr. Hilsmann, nobody is accusing you of anything or afraid to talk...why don't you take this opportunity and provide some info on the LDS perspective on civil rights and homosexuality...or, if you are not comfortable with that, direct us to a more balanced website. I'm sure everybody here would be interested to find out more.

Diane Garding said...

GSA parent of 2 (Juanita) said...

"The Coalition's letter includes a quote from Gordon B. Hinckley, the former head of the Mormon Church who recently passed away. Thought it would be interesting to provide a link to some of LDS views on homosexuality:". This was followed by a link to an anti-Mormon web site.

If I want to learn about GLSEN, I can go to a biased, but well documented, anti-gay site or I can go directly to their own website. Where do you think I will get the most accurate view of their purpose?

If anyone honestly wants to know the LDS church's (Mormon) opinion on same sex relationships go to their newsroom and read their official press release.

http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/public-issues/same-gender-attraction

Here is a shorter version in response to a ABC Nightline story in June 2006 that reported some views and comments that do not reflect the teachings of our church.

http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/church-responds-to-nightline-story-on-mormons-and-homosexuality

Note, too, that the quote from Gordon Hinckley was about management practices and had nothing whatsoever to do with his or his Church's positions on homosexuality or gender identity.

Karl Hilsmann said...

Diane, thanks for your response. I was about to post the same two articles to illustrate the position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) position on homosexuality.

While www.lds.org is the official church website for information and material, the church also maintains a site, www.mormon.org, that also has information as well. Either on is a good source of information about the church.

Sincerely Yours,
Karl Hilsmann

Anonymous said...

Here are some quotes from the recommended "Mormon-approved" websites. In a nutshell, the church of LDS argues that homosexuality exists and that only "acting" on "same-gender attractions" (they specifically avoid referring to the term "homosexuality") is a sin. The solution?! Celibacy, prayer, therapy, and making these "afflicted" individuals recognize that homosexuality is a choice. Enjoy the quotes.

If there are any gay Mormon kids out there reading, let it be known that there are plenty of people out here (even right here in little old Snoqualmie Valley) willing to accept you for exactly who you truly are--no repentance, therapy, or lying to yourself required. If you are looking for allies, GSA meetings are on Thursdays. Here are the quotes:


"Over past years we have seen unrelenting pressure from advocates of that lifestyle to accept as normal what is not normal"

"I think it’s important for you to understand that homosexuality, which you’ve spoken of, is not a noun that describes a condition. It’s an adjective that describes feelings or behavior."

"homosexual feelings are controllable. Perhaps there is an inclination or susceptibility to such feelings that is a reality for some and not a reality for others. But out of such susceptibilities come feelings, and feelings are controllable. If we cater to the feelings, they increase the power of the temptation. If we yield to the temptation, we have committed sinful behavior."

"it may be appropriate for that person [a homosexual] to seek therapy."

"same-gender attraction did not exist in the pre-earth life and neither will it exist in the next life. It is a circumstance that for whatever reason or reasons seems to apply right now in mortality, in this nano-second of our eternal existence."

"The Lord’s law of moral conduct is abstinence outside of lawful marriage and fidelity within marriage. Sexual relations are proper only between husband and wife, appropriately expressed within the bonds of marriage. Any other sexual conduct, including fornication, adultery, and homosexual and lesbian behavior is sinful. Those who persist in such practices or influence others to do so are subject to Church discipline.”

" Either there is marriage as it is now defined and as defined by the Lord, or there is what could thus be described as genderless marriage. The latter is abhorrent to God"

" people want to legalize a particular relationship, we need to be careful if that kind of relationship has been disapproved for millennia. Suddenly there’s a call to legalize it so they can feel better about themselves"

"Ultimately, the wisest course for anybody who’s afflicted with same-gender attraction is to strive to extend one’s horizon beyond just one’s sexual orientation, one’s gender orientation, and to try to see the whole person. If I’m one that’s afflicted with same-gender attraction, I should strive to see myself in a much broader context"

"We urge persons with same-gender attractions to control those and to refrain from acting upon them, which is a sin"

Anonymous said...

hmmm...the "mormon-approved' website doesn't really say anything too different than the "biased" site Juanita Parent recomened and that Gaurding and Hilsman were so worried about.

Both sites claim that church believes that "homosexuality is a curable affliction" and that there are programs and methods out there to resist "same-gender" attraction.

I wonder why they got their secret underwear in such a knot?

Anonymous said...

Diane Garding said...

"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." (I Timothy 2:11-15)

Anonymous said...

You said, "When persecuted, do you feel sympathetic to your tormentors?"

Isn't that especially funny coming from a persecutor? Aren't you being a bit of a baby, crying about how YOU make others feel on a daily basis, 365 days a year? What, you can't take "an eye for an eye" for just ONE day?

Hypocrisy is an ugly thing - except to the hypocrite - who thinks it makes him look handsome.