KTUU video report embedded below:
Students at Dimond High School and across the nation marked the Day of Silence as a way to draw attention to abuse and bullying of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Students who participated could remain silent, but were required to respond verbally to any teacher or other Anchorage School District employee who directed an inquiry at them in the official execution of their duties.
But some community members see the act differently. Jim Minnery of the Alaska Family Council says the students' observance crosses the line. "All of a sudden you're giving students specific rights that other students may not have and that it creates a disruption for that class because there are activities that have to be changed in that class somewhat," he said. Minnery also believes that the schools and the National Education Association (NEA) in particular have been actively promoting the homosexual lifestyle. In August 2006, I discussed how the NEA promoted the homosexual agenda at their annual national meeting.
But Susan Adams, Dimond High school teacher and sponsor of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance described it as a normal day. "Students have a civil right to speak or not speak as an individual and we're allowing them to exercise that right," Adams said. "We've informed them that if a teacher asks them to speak, it is obligatory of them to speak". And Adams disagrees with Minnery's concern. "By no means, no," Adams said. "We're encouraging people to accept others and be kind. We are encouraging students to be aware of the damage their words and actions can take on people."
But it appears Jim Minnery's message resonates better with the greater community. An "unscientific" poll by KTUU taken on April 25th shows that out of approximately 1,400 respondents, 56 percent disapproved of the Day Of Silence observances, 41 percent approved, and three percent didn't know.
Another prominent local person who has spoken out forcefully against the promotion and protection of the homosexual lifestyle is Dr. Jerry Prevo, the pastor of one of Anchorage's largest churches, Anchorage Baptist Temple. And Dr. Prevo has spoken out against it for as long as I've been here, since 1991. Since Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:27 haven't changed, he sees no reason to change either. Dr. Prevo's faithfulness to the word of God is noted and appreciated.
While there have been no media stories yet about any observances in Fairbanks, one person did post a comment to a related Fairbanks Daily News-Miner story about an observance at a Fairbanks school:
4/25/2008, 1:17 p.m.
I happened to be in one of the participating schools this morning and will be surprised to hear how communication in classrooms is affected. I witnessed teachers and students writing notes instead of speaking. Completely non-productive. This "student-led" initiative needs to be limited to non-classroom times (before and after school, breaks between classes and lunch). What a joke.
Since West Valley High School previously stated they would observe the Day Of Silence, Oldoakcuss is most likely describing the situation at that school.
In Seattle, the Day Of Silence was considerably more tumultous. Nearly 100 protestors assembled outside Mt. Si High School to picket the event; one-third of the student body chose not to show up for school. At Desert Ridge High School in Arizona, there was no confrontation, but 250 students stayed away and 275 more signed up to participate in the Day Of Silence.
Pro-family students get a chance to answer back on Monday April 28th through the Day Of Truth. The objective is simply to distribute information about the consequences of homosexuality and other forms of sexual misconduct to fellow students. It will not be done during class time, and it features no silly gimmicks.