Sunday, April 10, 2005

Objections to "Day of Silence": A Mass. School Committee Responds

Last week we posted a concerned parent's letter to a principal at a Massachusetts High School asking him to cancel the "Day of Silence". Here is some follow-up correspondence with a couple of school committee members in that district.

Dear Parent:
Let me start by saying that I respect and support the initiative shown by [XHS] students. Once again they are tackling controversial issues head on.

However, it is my position that this type of activity SHOULD NOT take place during regular class hours. These hours are both precious and costly. If these student wish to organize an event out side of regular school hours they should be encouraged to do so. From what I have read, I can not imagine how this program meets the requirement for educational hours as set forth by the Commonwealth of MA DOE.

Best Regards
-Mr. R, School Committee member

Dear Mr R:
Thanks for your response to my letter to [the principal], opposing the "Day of Silence". I am glad you agree that this event should not take place during the school day.

If you were to look at the and websites, you would see that the students are not, in fact, even showing much initiative. The materials and planning are all laid out for them by this well-funded, national political activist group.

What is really happening is that a "politically correct" club is receiving special privileges from the administration, because it is conveying a message they like.

Can you imagine the principal agreeing to [Christian club] members walking around with T-shirts saying "Adultery & Homosexuality are Sin"? Or pro-life students commemorating the Roe v. Wade anniversary with a Day of Silence for dead babies, holding cards explaining that "Abortion is Murder"? Somehow, I don't think such acts of "civil disobedience" would be allowed in the school. In fact, the recent [Christian club] "outreach" activity was confined to after-school hours. Seems pretty obvious that there is a double standard at work.

I appreciate you taking the time to listen to members of the community who stand for common-sense, traditional values. Please let me know if you would like to receive any of the supporting materials I shared with [the principal].



Dear Parent,
Thank you for your email and while I understand you are concerned, this is a student sponsored activity and not a school sponsored activity. You always have the option of keeping you student home if you are uncomfortable, if you call her/him into the attendance line, it will be an excused absence and s/he will be able to make up any work s/he misses on the 13th.
-Ms. X, School Committee Chair

Dear Ms. X ,
You don't seem to have read a word I wrote. Would you like to receive copies of the supporting documents I gave [the principal]? Or are you simply not interested in seeing or hearing another viewpoint?