Day of Silence
As a Snoqualmie resident, I fully support the Day of Silence at Mount Si High School.
The Day of Silence is a student-led day of action, when concerned students take a vow of silence to bring attention to the name calling and harassment experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) students.
The Day of Silence is currently recognized by over 4,000 schools nationwide that have an annual attendance of over 500,000 students. The fact that Ken Hutcherson, Antioch Bible Church, and C.O.D.E. (Coalition to Defend Education) have protested this event furthers their position of bigotry and prejudice. The Snoqualmie Valley that I live in is an inclusive and accepting community — not one of ignorance and hate.
Please take a moment to notify the administration at Mount Si High School and the Snoqualmie Valley School District and let them know that the vocal minority does not speak for the majority of citizens. Ask them to follow the law and support this protected, persecuted minority. Ask them to stop supporting the minority of vocal bigots in this community. This only takes a moment out of your day, but has long-lasting effects on the place we live.
Bring us together
Instead of talking about something new in math class or science or English, my sixth-grade son came home wondering why some of his peers refused to talk with him.
Many Snoqualmie Valley kids went to school Friday with the decision of whether to speak or to be silent in school, whether to wear the T-shirt supporting the ‘Gay, Straight or Questioning Alliance’ or the T-shirt disapproving the “Day of Silence.” Perhaps they were among the more than 500 kids at Mount Si who made the decision to avoid the conflict and skip school.
As parents, we have just one question for you leaders and administrators of our schools: Couldn’t all this time and energy be spent learning or doing greater good?
As parents, we are sad to see that not only are we in a district with limited resources for education, but one where teachers and administrators allow the classroom to become the place to take sides in controversial social agendas and sexual preferences. Where other districts allowed time before or after school for clubs to recognize this national Day of Silence, Snoqualmie Valley’s high school devotes an entire school day to the event. To turn an entire school day into a forum where kids question their sexuality or morality is not why I send my kids to school. Adolescence is full of enough challenges without the interference of teachers taking on the role that rightfully belongs in the homes and private lives of citizens and residents of our community. Teachers who seek to indoctrinate kids with their own brand of morality, from either the religious right or from the pro-gay community —neither belong in the classroom! We are taxpayers and contributing citizens to our community who want to support you as school administrators in your very difficult job of educating our children. However, if you take your charge beyond the role of educators, we cannot and should not support your endeavors.
Isn’t it ironic that for the victims of 9/11 or the students of Columbine or for our Veterans who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, we only give a moment of silence? Yet here in the Snoqualmie Valley School District, our district gives an entire day to the illusive day of respect for gay, straight and questioning students. Does this teach respect and freedom? Or does it leave us all confused with a sad taste of divisiveness in lieu of the community feel and the individual freedoms we have enjoyed by living in the Valley? Let’s spend our time and energy at school learning or doing something positive that will bring us together! Math, science and arts, anyone?
Sarah and Nathan Ricks
Who’s more Christian?
I’m confused about Christianity these days. Reverend Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church called for 1,000 “prayer warriors” to surround Mount Si High School in protest over the national Day of Silence. But the whole thing doesn’t smell particularly Christian.
It appears to be a vendetta: “payback” for the way Hutcherson was treated when he spoke at the high school earlier this year. Hutcherson told a regional newspaper, “Of course it’s personal. They embarrassed me and they embarrassed my daughter.” “Payback” certainly doesn’t sound like turning the other cheek, does it?
The Times also quoted Hutcherson as saying, “There are so many issues at that school, and homosexuals get a whole day?” I don’t know about “that school,” but I do know that there are so many serious issues facing the world today, and he is focusing on sexual orientation.
Cut to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, an outspoken advocate for human rights, who recently was given an award by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. Archbishop Tutu apologized on behalf of his church for ostracizing gay people; he said, “How sad it is, that the church should be so obsessed with this particular issue of human sexuality when God’s children are facing massive problems — poverty, disease, corruption, conflict.”
One man demonstrates a love of all humanity, speaking out for human rights for everyone. Another man — whose church claims to be “a church for all people, of all cultures, races, backgrounds”(Antioch Bible Church Web site) — demonstrates animosity towards lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex (LGBTI) people. So just who is the Christian here?
As a rabbi and religious leader, I wish to express my support to the students of Mount Si High School and their courageous leadership to hold the Day of Silence. The Jewish people are currently celebrating the festival of Passover. We know first hand the struggle to move from slavery and degredation to joy and wholeness, liberation and freedom. We stand united with all of God’s children, created with a rainbow of hope and love, who seek freedom and justice in our world. Reform Judaism has a long and prophetic tradition of supporting equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. The time has come for all loving people of faith to embrace the diversity and mystery of God’s creation.
Rabbi Michael Adam Latz