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Groups ponder Silence protest

Opponents to the Day of Silence want parents to send a message to the school district by keeping their children home from Mount Si High School that day.

They claim that it disrupts education and is a protest, which would break school policy. Supporters counter that it is a student-organized event which does not affect education and is not a protest.

During the Day of Silence, which is planned for Friday, April 17, participants agree to not speak — except when necessary in class — to draw attention to discrimination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gendered youth.

A statement by Mount Si’s Gay-Straight Alliance, which organizes the event, does not refer to the day as a protest. The school district does not consider the Day of Silence to be a protest or disruptive, according to Carolyn Malcolm, the district’s spokeswoman.

The day is “something that is definitely a protest,” said the Reverend Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church.

Last year, Hutcherson and several other groups protested the day outside Mount Si, where his son is a freshman. He declined to say whether or not a protest is being planned for Friday, but did say he would not be there. Other groups opposed to the event could not be reached for comment.

The school board is out of step with parents in the Valley, many of whom oppose the event, he said.

The board has said it would not get involved with the Day of Silence.

“They just let us know we can’t trust them,” Hutcherson said. “We want our kids educated, not indoctrinated.”

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