April 17th LGBTQAI Day of Silence
Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, April 3, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler
Since Thursday, April 2nd, was the last day of the legislative session, it’ll take a while to sort out just what happened during those 40 days. So, today I want to remind you of something that occurs every April in schools across the country. It’s not school-sponsored or part of the curriculum. It’s a strategy to promote, propagate and affirm alternate lifestyles to students and school staff.
The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (a.k.a. GLSEN), an affiliate of the National Education Association, prides itself on “championing LGBT issues in schools K – 12,” and always has pro-homosexual items for sale on a large table-display at NEA conferences. One of GLSEN’s major projects is gay straight alliance (GSA) clubs for students to join at school without parental consent. In 2002, Grady High and Lakeside High were the first schools in Georgia to have GSA clubs. By 2007, GSA clubs were in 37 Georgia high schools. Now, eight years later, there are considerably more, with their sights set on middle schools, as well.
After learning of the clubs in 2002, legislators were asked to pass a law requiring parental consent for students to join ANY school club or activity. Though he thought a parental consent bill might not pass, a senator introduced S.B. 426 to require schools to INFORM parents of ALL school clubs and activities. His bill died in committee that year, but a similar bill that passed later and became law requires school handbooks to list school clubs and extracurricular activities available for students to join.But, even now, many parents don’t know that GSA clubs are promoting alternate lifestyles to their children in school and parents won’t know whether their child is a GSA member, unless their child tells them. While children might not have joined the GSA, projects of the club are promoted school-wide and their current focus is on transgender.
Another GLSEN project is an annual day of silence when students hand their teachers “speaking cards” to explain why they refuse to speak in class that day. Teachers that want to observe the day may silently distribute assignment print-outs or write instructions on a chalk board. Thirteen years ago, fifteen high schools and five colleges in Georgia participated in the day of silence, but many more schools are expected to participate on April 17th this year.
The fact that schools observe a day of silence flies in the face of Georgia law that allows schools only one minute of silence per day. So, why do Georgia schools allow any student or teacher to observe a DAY of silence? You might want to ask your child’s principal, “Will (insert name of school) observe April 17th as a day of silence to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lifestyles? If a child assumes a transgender identity at school, do you notify the parents?” For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your capitol correspondent.