Some parents in Beaverton, Oregon are protesting a local school’s anti-bullying campaign because they believe it endorses and encourages students to support the pro-gay agenda, KATU reports.
The Meadow Park Middle School in Beaverton is set to participate in the national Day of Silence this day, an event that raises awareness to LGBT-related bullying and harassment and provides support to those who have been victims of bullying based on gender orientation. The school’s Gay-Lesbian Alliance Club will be leading the event, according to reports.
However, some parents whose children attend Meadow Park, did not like the idea of the school actively participating in the prevention of LGBT bullying. They say that the campaign is meant to push the pro-gay rights agenda, something they say schools shouldn’t be endorsing.
One parent, Chris Johnsen, whose son attends Meadow Park, says that although the anti-bullying message is fine, the school’s direct involvement in the awareness of LGBT issues is not. He believes that by using the title “Day of Silence” for the event, the school is actively promoting gay rights. Johnsen told in an interview:
“You’re taking this one group’s agenda and turning it into something at your school by using their name and their title of it. You are hereby promoting it.”
Parents received email from the principal, Toshiko Maurizio, days before the event informing them of an anti-bullying campaign to be held in the school the same day the national Day of Silence is set to be conducted across the nation. In the email, the principal wrote that the campaign will be extended “to all students suffering from bullying and harassment”. She added that the campaign will include raising awareness against cyberbullying.
In the email, principal Maurizio attached a link directing to the website of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. She also attached information pertaining to statistics of gay bullying.
Many parents were bothered by the involvement of the school with the promotion of LGBT rights and requested the principal to change the name to remove any affiliation with the gay rights movement. However, principal Maurizio said she won’t be doing that. In an interview, she said:
“We want Meadow Park to be a safe environment for all students. We want there to be awareness that you don’t discriminate based on gender, based on sexual orientation, based on ethnicity. We just wanted that message to be loud and clear that Meadow Park is a safe environment for everybody.”
She added that students are not forced to participate in the campaign.
What do you think? Did the school go too far with their anti-bullying campaign?