Friday April 16 has been designated as a Day of Silence in our schools.
When asked about it, New Rochelle Superintendent of Schools, Richard Organisciak, he claimed, “The observance of the Day of Silence is a purely voluntary expression on the part of staff and students alike. We neither encourage nor discourage participation.”
The Superintendent sidestepped the issue and the point of the question.
The Day of Silence, according to its promoters, is intended to have students silently vow to have “safer” schools. But just who are these promoters and what is it they are promoting with their “Day of Silence”?
The organization behind the Day of Silence is the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, one of the largest gay-activist groups in the nation. GLSEN is an overtly political agenda. They have been active in gay-marriage ballot initiates around the United States including the Proposition 8 ballot initiative in California. A stated goal of the organization is to build support among students so that as they reach voting age they will support their organizations political agenda.
It is worth noting that the overt political activism orchestrated by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network is planned to occur in the school without any public mention and no (so far) note home to parents. When President Obama made a “Back to School” speech on Education last September, principals at two schools (Jefferson Elementary School and Albert Leonard Middle School) sent home letters to parents alerting them to plans to show a video tape of the speech and offering parents the option for their children to “opt-out” of the viewing.
The alleged concern over the Obama speech was that it would be a “political” hence the parental notification. As was pointed out to the Board of Education by members of the NAACP last fall, the speech had already been given before the beginning of the school year so there was no question about the content of the speech which simply exhorted students to work hard and stay in school. Yet warning were sent home.
In the case of the the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network event in our schools, the purpose is overtly political, orchestrated by political activists for a political purpose (under the guise of “anti-bullying” and “safer” schools).
It is puzzling to try and square the district’s proactive action against the first African-American president, an elected leader delivering a positive but politically benign message to school children at the beginning of the school year and the indifference towards a political organization engaging in political action during the school day, in the classrooms, involving students, teachers and staff.
To not speak at all, especially for a district employee, as a form of political action, is disruptive to the school day. It makes the school day about something other than learning and the proper function of a public school which should be free of religious and political considerations. The Supreme Court has given schools wide latitude to prevent this sort of political speech, and with good reason.
Today, the district turns a blind-eye to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network. Tomorrow, having invited this sort of political action into out out schools, the district will have opened the door to skin-heads and neo-nazies and any other group that can claim its political operations in the school is just a purely voluntary expression on the part of staff and students alike. It will be interesting to see if Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak is so cavalier when the group organizing in our schools is one less to his liking.