Blog Post

“Day of Silence” Activities Get School District in Legal Trouble

The East Penn School District has gotten itself into trouble after parents complained that their children were shown videos promoting homosexuality and gender dysphoria on the “Day of Silence” without their permission.

Liberty Counsel, a non-profit educational and legal organization, is reporting on the activities of the East Penn School District on the “Day of Silence,” a day promoted by the gay activist group, GLSEN, on which students remain silent to show support for homosexuals. GLSEN is the nation’s largest homosexual advocacy group which focuses on promoting same-sex sexual activity and gender confusion to publish school students as young as kindergarten.

According to Liberty Counsel, the school used its TV system to show more than 2,000 students a selection of four YouTube videos that promoted homosexuality, same-sex “marriage,” and gender dysphoria without parental permission. When parents demanded links to the videos so that they could see what material their children had been exposed to, the district refused to provide it, stating that the videos “were pulled from YouTube and other online sources by the students in our GSA club and sent to the TV studio as part of their ‘Day of Silence’ project.”

The district’s attorney advised “that these videos cannot be sent to [parents], because they are part of a student project,” despite the district playing the videos for all students.

As a result, parents are left to try to find the videos on their own based on descriptions of the video content provided by the school district, and descriptions of the video content as related by their children:

Video 1 - Entitled “9 Questions Gay People Have About Straight People.”

Video 2 - A CBS News story clip promoting “gender fluidity.”

Video 3 – A compilation of clips promoting same-sex “marriage,” including footage of people “coming out” as homosexual to their loved ones, clips of celebrities “coming out,” clips from same-sex “weddings” and footage of legislative sessions discussing same-sex “marriage.”

Video 4 – Entitled “Show your pride. Share your love,” described by children to their parents as encouraging them to embrace the homosexual lifestyle.

At the request of parents, Liberty Counsel immediately sent a letter to Superintendent Michael Schilder, saying that “It does not pass the straight face test for the District to claim it need not provide parents with the actual video links, although the District required more than 2,800 students to view these videos, with no prior notice to their parents, and no opportunity to opt-out. This is a gross violation of parental rights.”

The letter continued: “The links to the videos are public records, notwithstanding claimed ‘selection’ of the videos by the ostensibly ‘student-led’ Gay-Straight Alliance (“GSA”) as part of an alleged ‘student project.’ It would be convenient indeed if school districts could bypass all public records laws and parental notice and consent requirements for objectionable content, by finding a willing ‘student group’ to ‘select’ the material for them.”

The superintendent was then informed of the law which makes clear that “parents, not agents of the state, including teachers, and certainly not GLSEN or its teacher or student affiliates with the GSA, have the right to direct the upbringing and associations of minor children. The law presumes that parents possess what a child lacks in maturity, experience, and capacity for judgment required for making life’s difficult decisions, not activist school employees or student groups.”

The school district has been given until July 23 to comply with parental demands before further legal action will be taken.

“The East Penn School District has violated parents’ rights and must release the links to the four videos and all public records regarding ‘Unity Week’ and ‘Day of Silence’ immediately,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

“Parents have the right to know the exact nature of the special-interest propaganda their children have been subjected to when at school.”

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