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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 27, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Day of Silence

Ironies of silencing the silent

Irony is apparent in the unfortunate success of the few in Snoqualmie Valley who, through vocal protest, sought to squelch student participation in the Day of Silence (DOS) [“Schools to observe ‘Silence’ for gays,” NW Friday, April 17].

Within a Trojan-horse claim of disruption to learning, motivated by personal beliefs counter to the mission of the DOS, their vocal protest ironically succeeded by silencing those students who chose school absence, or declined to participate in DOS, in order to avoid the conflict.

Further irony is evident in the SnoValley Star newspaper quote of Mount Si student Trey Botten who, in arguing to eliminate the DOS. because of the alleged conflict it causes, said, “There never should be a time in a public school setting where students should feel divided at the school.” This is, ironically, the everyday experience of gay, lesbian and other students whose color, creed or preference lies outside the dominant paradigm.

The student leaders and faculty advisers of the DOS. are to be lauded for staying staunch and true to the principles of civility and inclusion at the core of their mission. It is our American legacy and responsibility as members of our excellent democracy to actively assert the place of all in society.

And thus the final, sweet irony: Through vocal protestations to silence the Day of Silence, our collective awareness of and sensitivity to student harassment and discrimination continues to rise.

— Mike McMann, North Bend

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