Saturday, April 18, 2009

Three Area High Schools Commemorate Pro-Gay "Day Of Silence" In Fairbanks, Alaska On April 17th, 2009; Day Of Truth Slated For April 20th

On April 18th, 2009, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports on commemorations of the pro-gay Day of Silence held at three different high schools in the Greater Fairbanks area. The Day was observed at West Valley High School, Lathrop High School, and Hutchison High School. The latter high school does not get much public attention, which is a shame, because they have a innovative education concept called "Career Clusters", which, on the surface, appears to offer a good marriage between academic and vocational training.

But the News-Miner's focus was upon West Valley High School, not only because they're the only school in the Fairbanks District officially listing a Gay-Straight Alliance club on their website, but also because 2009 represented the sixth year in which the school's students have observed the day. Nonetheless, it remains a marginal event; only 32 of the school's estimated 1,300 students participated. The 32 students volunteered not to speak during the shortened school day as a way to protest silently and to recognize minorities who have been subject to harassment and even killed because of cultural differences. Expanding the focus beyond gays may be a ploy to make the Day Of Silence more digestible by the general public and specifically to the Black population, who registered the highest percentage of votes in favor of Proposition 8 of all ethnic groups in California.

Originally started in 1996 at the University of Virginia, the Day of Silence has become the largest student-led protest for creating safer schools with more than 1,900 middle schools, high schools and colleges participating across the country.

Three West Valley juniors who participated, and who are also members of West Valley’s Gay-Straight Alliance club — Grace Matthews, Lachlan Gillispie and Andrew Richard — broke their silence at the end of the school day to talk about their observations and experience. Grace Matthews, who is the GSA club president, spoke out at length:

“Our school district seems to be really supportive of making sure everyone in the district feels safe, and they’ve done a good job at not tolerating harassment of any kind... Being silent for an entire school day really gives you a chance to sit back, reflect and observe what’s going on around us... I think we’ve tried to present this as helping everyone create a safe place where we can all feel comfortable in our own skin,” Matthews said.

Lachlan Gillispie also sounded off. “It gets easier each year. Each year, we hear less snide remarks, and people seem to be asking more questions before passing judgment.”

But what about the alternative "Day of Truth" to be held on April 20th and which has been promoted by the Alaska Family Council? Thanks to the influence of Jeff Walters, a counselor at West Valley High School and a sponsor to the Gay-Straight Alliance, the viewpoints expressed on the Day of Truth will be equally presented and respected. Under Walters' influence, the GSA members constructed an intricate display on the second floor of the high school that melds together the distinct viewpoints of both the Day of Silence and the Day of Truth. Established to express a contrasting viewpoint from a Christian perspective, this is the fifth year the Day of Truth has been recognized by students.

No media reports on whether the Day Of Silence was commemorated elsewhere in Alaska. Anchorage has three high schools who list GSA clubs; South, East, and West. The Day has been commemorated at Dimond High School in the past. Participation has been extremely scanty.

Objections to the Day Of Silence are eloquently presented in the following video:

The objections to the Day Of Silence are that it goes beyond merely promoting tolerance, unnecessarily politicizes the student population, and is viewed within a greater context of cultural inversion. In the latter case, opponents view the Day Of Silence as one more attack upon traditional cultural values in the United States. The problems driving the Day Of Silence can be solved simply by enforcing existing school rules; there's no need to launch a divisive propaganda campaign to force people to like each other.

But at least they're showing respect for the Day Of Truth at West Valley as well.


  1. Not said in a condemning way, not being judgemental.
    Not said with an attitude or anger.

    God has said homosexuality is an abomination.

    Kicking God out of public schools and replacing God with Homosexuals is the ruination of this country.

  2. Agree, Anonymous. Both Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:26-27 make that amply clear. Fat chance getting the present set of lawmakers to enforce that.

    The best we can do right now is to counter the politically-correct falsehoods with truth.