Focus on the Family’s Biblical Counter Fights GLSEN Day of Silence
The evangelical Christian group Focus on the Family will once again hold its Day of Dialogue event in order to oppose the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) annual Day of Silence -- a day where students protest bullying against the LGBT community by taking a day-long vow of silence.
Day of Dialogue encourages students to have conversations about God’s "redemptive design for marriage and sexuality." The event’s website says, "The Day of Dialogue gives you, as a student, the opportunity to express the true model presented by Jesus Christ in the Bible -- who didn’t back away from speaking truth, but neither held back in pouring out His incredible, compassionate love for hurting and vulnerable people. His example calls us to stand up for those being harmed or bullied while offering the light of what God’s Word says."
The website also says that students have the right to "talk about their religious beliefs, pray, read Scripture" as long as it does not take place during instructional time. It goes on to say that students can "express their faith-based viewpoint in the classroom" as long as it is relevant to the subject or assignment.
The event will be held on April 19 -- the day before students around the country are scheduled to participate in GLSEN’s Day of Silence on April 20.
According to GLSEN’s website, the Day of Silence is "the largest student lead day of action in the nation" and has even been adopted by Russia and Singapore. The event’s website says that students can participate between classes but may not stay silent during class time and if a teacher asks a student to speak.
"Under the Constitution, public schools must respect students’ right to free speech," according to Lambda Legal. "The right to speak includes the right not to speak, as well as the right to wear buttons or T-shirts expressing support for a cause. If a teacher tells a student to answer a question during class, the student generally doesn’t have a constitutional right to refuse to answer."
Focus on the Family isn’t the only conservative group that has opposed the Day of Silence. American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Mission America, Traditional Values Coalition, Liberty Counsel and others formed a collation in 2008 and asked parents to keep their children home on the event.
Watch a "movie trailer" for the Day of Dialogue below: