We already know that Liberty Counsel, like other Religious Right groups, zealously opposes programs designed to stop bullying if they include bullying based on sexual orientation. Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs with Liberty Counsel, decried such anti-bullying programs as a “homo-fascist tactic” and a “‘Trojan Horse’ strategy,” saying that high suicide rates among gay and lesbian youth is because “kids who are engaging in homosexual behavior often look inward and know that what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, is immoral, and so they become depressed and the instances of suicide can rise there as well.” Liberty Counsel’s Public Policy Analyst Shawn Akers dubbed bullying-prevention initiatives as “a form of indoctrination and reeducation that smacks of socialist and communist countries.”
Now, the group’s founder Mat Staver is deriding tomorrow’s Day of Silence for allegedly propagating a “radical sexualized agenda.” Like the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel is urging a boycott. The Day of Silence is an event where students take a vow of silence to show their solidarity with children who are bullied, harassed or attacked due to their sexual orientation, but Liberty Counsel claims that it is “not protected under the First Amendment” and part of the “homosexual and transsexual promotion agenda.” In another attempt by far-right groups to play the victim, Liberty Counsel claims that the Day of Silence makes students “feel like outsiders” and pushes “intolerance” by protesting the marginalization and bullying of gay students.
Parents and students will protest the so-called “Day of Silence” agenda tomorrow. Last year, some parents chose to withdraw their children from any school that promotes the Day of Silence. The Day of Silence is a project of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which promotes a radical sexualized agenda, including the promotion of books that encourage sex between adults and minors.
Parents are encouraged to call the schools their children attend and tell them the reason their children will not be attending. School administrators usually listen, because the school loses money for each absence.
The Day of Silence has been turned into a homosexual and transsexual promotion agenda. Neither students nor public school teachers or staff should be forced to promote homosexual behavior.
School teachers should be aware that students do not have the right to remain silent when they are called upon by teachers. Conduct on the part of a student that causes a substantial disruption or material interference with school activities is not protected under the First Amendment. Students cannot learn if they refuse to participate in class, and they harm other students’ experience by not contributing to a dialogue of learning.
School administrators do not have to promote the Day of Silence. In those states that require abstinence instruction, schools do not have to recognize clubs that promote sexual activities.
Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, said, “The Day of Silence is not about tolerance or bullying. It is about pushing a sexual agenda. Students and staff who disagree with a radical sexualized agenda are demonized and made to feel like outsiders. Children should be afforded a rigorous education opportunity and not be forced to accept a radical sexualized agenda subsidized with tax dollars. Parents and lawmakers should take the time to learn about the extreme views of GLSEN and the intolerance promoted by the Day of Silence.”