Day of Silence is a student-led event

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2002

When actually serving on the School Board, one rather quickly learns their own personal morality has little to do with deciding whether students can have a Day of Silence. The courts have consistently indicated that students have strong rights to free speech (or in this case free speechless).

Related Story:

Candidates split over 'day of silence'

The Day of Silence is a student-led event. It is not up to the principal, the Site Council, the superintendent or the School board to make a decision about it. And, what decision can they make - students are forbidden not to speak on that day and any student caught not speaking will be suspended? Maybe students would be required to carry a little checklist around that day and teachers would have to check off if the student spoke in class.

This whole incident is illustrating strongly to our students exactly why a Day of Silence is needed. There are those in the community that will have a fit at the very mention of the words "gay," "lesbian," "transgendered" or "homosexual." That is the very reason it is so very hard for students who find themselves with those feelings, and why the rate of depression and suicide is so high among them. While many who feel that expressing those feelings is immoral also mouth the platitude that they hate the sin but love the sinner. They miss the essential point - it is not loving to force another person to deny their most intimate feelings just for the sake of making those who are uncomfortable, comfortable.

Becky Bear

Juneau



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