Wednesday, April 13, 2005

DAY OF CONFLICT at Lexington High School

MassResistance heard reports from protesters and students on the scene today at Lexington High School...

A few brave signholders protesting the "Day of Silence", standing on the public sidewalk in front of the school, were subjected to the principal's attempt to intimidate them. But they knew their rights and stood their ground.

Battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775 -- Captain Parker to the Minutemen: "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!"

The Lexington High School principal and a "school monitor" came out to try to get the protesters to disperse, but they knew (after earlier checking with the Parents' Rights Coalition and local police) that they were within their rights to be there!

Meanwhile, on the school campus, we hear reports that the "Day of Silence" turned into a DAY OF CONFLICT! A parent wrote:

My [children] came home from school today distraught. From our conversations, it is evident that the "Day of Silence" did nothing to unite the school. My [children] witnessed students being physically assaulted on the quad by "Day of Silence" supporters because they chose to take stickers being distributed by a Christian group, while others were verbally berated in the hallways. One of my oldest [child's] teachers made derogatory comments about the Christians protesting outside of school, which was very distressing for [him/her] because this teacher is well aware that [s/he] is Christian. When [the] Concert Choir teacher insisted that students must sing, half of the class left the room.

Conflict was originated by both "sides" as one of my younger [child's] friends who wore a "Day of Silence" sticker was also harassed by other students. This event seems to have caused only disruption, conflict and disrespect. Please urge the faculty to concentrate on academics and schedule these social agenda events outside of school hours. My older [child] refuses to come to school tomorrow even during the academic blocks. [S/he] feels intimidated and threatened because of [his/her] beliefs. And while I am sure that this was not the intention of the faculty, this is the atmosphere that "Day of Silence" has created at LHS.

This parent had earlier written to the principal in Lexington:

Unfortunately, the "Day of Silence" is being held during the day, during classes. How can this not be detrimental to the classroom atmosphere, where learning should be the priority? Why should kids who choose not to participate be "exposed", alienated and labeled as "intolerant"? Since LHS is a very tolerant and accepting school as stated in the LHS description of "Day of Silence", why waste academic time and polarize students into groups that participate ("tolerant") and those who do not participate ("intolerant")? Why can't these be extracurricular events that do not interfere with learning?

The information regarding this two-day event is also very vague. We will opt our children out of the "Day of Discussion" if we can determine exactly what is happening during which blocks of the day. But because the "Day of Silence" is being held during classes, you have effectively removed our choice.