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Parent group takes aim at Day of Silence

A 40-strong group of Valley parents have formed a new coalition, with the aim of ensuring that teachers at Mount Si High School aren't touting their personal agendas in the classroom.

The Coalition to Defend Education, which includes parents from Snoqualmie, North Bend and Fall City, held its first meeting Saturday, Feb. 9, at the home of one of the parent group members.

"Our goal is to make the school neutral," said coalition board member Phillip Garding, who announced the creation of the group at the Feb. 7 Snoqualmie Valley district board meeting.

"We believe that the classroom should not be biased," Garding said. "Schools are for education, not indoctrination."

Garding takes issue with what he describes as a small minority of teachers that discuss their political, moral, or religious beliefs in the classroom. If the policies of Mount Si High School were followed, such discussions shouldn't be happening, he said.

"The conditions definitely have been there for a long time," Garding said. "The MLK assembly was a flashpoint that pushed a lot of people over the edge."

"I understand that people advocating for change in our society feel very strongly (that) this is an issue of fundamental fairness," he said. "But there are huge implications to that debate, that tie into a person's religious beliefs and teachings."

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