Open letters were written by the principal of Samohi and the SMMUSD superintendent in connection with the announcement of the Westboro Church protest ‚Äî which took place on Feb. 25 near Samohi. Did these “politically correct” letters and the response to the protest by school officials promote tolerance, freedom of thought, freedom of speech, knowledge or good health?
Quotes from the letter by Samohi‚Äôs principal read: “Teachers may be discussing issues in classes. We‚Äôve given them parameters regarding what is acceptable. ‚Ä¶ Samohi‚Äôs Gender and Sexuality Alliance (formerly known as Gay Straight Alliance) is working on a presentation for period-by-period meetings in Barnum Hall. English teachers will be asked to bring their classes to Barnum Hall for a short meeting.”
Those quotes appear to imply disapproval of homosexuality was not allowed in classroom discussions. Furthermore, these quotes suggest that teachers may not have been allowed to inform pupils about the following:
‚Äî Various religious traditions disapprove of homosexuality.
‚Äî Homosexual activity increases one‚Äôs risk for certain diseases.
Do pupils (many of whom are truly students) have the right to accurate information on both sides of an issue in a tolerant atmosphere? Should we not at least consider the possibility that there might be wisdom in religious teachings?
I applaud Judson Yaker for coming to the site of the protest and sharing his concern about the role of school officials in the counter demonstration (“Samohi community rallies against anti-gay group,” Feb. 25). He asked if teachers would have supported a student protest which opposed homosexuality and if they had considered “what it‚Äôs like to be a student on the other side, and the angst of not being able to speak.”
Let‚Äôs honor our First Amendment rights and allow balanced discussions!