NewsThu Apr 26, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
Dozens of California Students Suspended for Peacefully Countering Pro-Gay Propaganda
By John Henry Westen
SACRAMENTO, April 26, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Students in at least three school districts around the Sacramento region were suspended for peacefully expressing their views last week about the Day of Silence - a day during which homosexual activist students, with the approval of schools, hand out pro-homosexual literature.
The Day of Silence is an annual event staged in April at many high schools. Students are encouraged to go the entire school day without speaking as a protest against harassment of gay and lesbian students, and to "demand change." Approximately thirty students at Rio Linda alone were sent home, suspended or given "Saturday school."
This week, when Christian and other students opposed to homosexual activism presented their side of the debate refusing to endorse the lifestyle of gays and lesbians, school administrators acted aggressively to stamp out dissent. The Day of Silence is a nation-wide activist day sponsored by various homosexual lobby groups, notably the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) that focuses its work on bringing the homosexual agenda into the schools.
An estimated 3-4,000 students in the Sacramento area chose to stay home on the Day of Silence to avoid being confronted with pro-homosexual protests. Other students concerned about the one-sided messages determined to wear clothing and distribute literature which peacefully highlighted the dangers of homosexuality. Dozens of religious students were disciplined for expressing their viewpoints at Inderkum, Rio Linda and San Juan high schools.
Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) leapt into action on behalf of these students, in some cases visiting campuses as students were being rounded up and suspensions were being meted out. PJI is working with the schools to reverse any penalties and has threatened legal action if it is not resolved.
“Basic First Amendment freedoms have been violated, and it is imperative that schools realize dialogue is not possible when only one side of the debate is allowed to speak,” explained Kevin Snider, chief counsel of PJI, in a statement.
“We’re encouraged by the headway which has been made with some schools, and we are hopeful that all of these suspensions will be fully rescinded.”
Facing the threat of legal action, Inderkum High School and Rio Linda High School agreed to drop the suspensions and remove them from the students’ records. However, it is not clear whether the issues have been fully resolved for all students.
San Juan High School has offered no response to a demand letter from PJI, and litigation may be necessary. PJI will also be monitoring other schools closely to ensure compliance.
Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, said, “Every year, the Day of Silence grows more threatening to people of faith. We can’t afford to back down from this fight if young voices of conscience are silenced, who will lead the next generation?”
On Wednesday Students in 5,000 US Public Schools Were Given Pro-Homosexual Propaganda