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Letters | The Snoqualmie school board vote and the Day of Silence
In a recent school board candidate forum, Carolyn Simpson, a candidate running for school board position no. 3, responded to the question, “What role, if any, do you think the school board has in the Day of Silence?” Mrs. Simpson does not “support designating any school day for any one special cause” and instead wants to establish one day in the fall called the “Day of Respect.” She also stated that the Day of Silence interferes with academics.
The Mount Si Gay Straight Alliance, the student club which runs the Day of Silence (DOS), is encouraging both Carolyn Simpson and Valley voters to consider the following:
• As other candidates indicated, the DOS is legally protected under the first amendment. Mount Si’s own GSA has had support from the ACLU and Equal Rights Washington when the event was threatened in the past.
• The DOS is a nationwide event with hundreds of thousands of participants, organized by students to help raise awareness of the prejudice, harassment, and discrimination gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students regularly face in their schools and communities.
• The reason LGBTQ students need a day free of harassment and bullying is because they are the most at-risk group for abuse and suicide. At Mount Si specifically, 79 percent of students do not think that the student body is respectful of people’s sexual orientations.
Carolyn Simpson’s suggestion of a Day of Respect, although convenient, would only sweep important, hard-to-discuss issues under the rug, diluting the importance of this cause and perpetuating the problem the students and staff of Mount Si have been working so hard to address. Furthermore, the belief that the DOS somehow interferes with academics is simply not true. The day occurs without interruption or interference, classes occur just like any other day.
With this in mind, we would like Carolyn Simpson to reconsider her position and we ask voters to cast an educated vote. Also, we invite Ms. Simpson and any other community member to contact the GSA at firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any questions.
Molly Boord, Landon Edwards, Kailey Van Slyke, Chloe Bergstrom, Shawn McNabb, Mount Si GSA Club Officers