Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oh, The Horror Of It All

Yesterday, I had the misfortune of catching a part of Sykes' show. He was doing a bit about schools, one of his favorite targets for his hate.

To his credit, he didn't think that an elementary school having a spirit week, or as they call it "Wacky Week," was that big of a deal. I was pleasantly find to see him do that rare exercise of common sense.

Common sense, finding itself in a strange environment (Charlie's head), quickly vacated the area, and his usual nonsense kicked in.

He started complaining about some school in California (nice to know he's worried about local and state issues-he just never said which locality or state). His issue was that a school was preparing to have a Day of Silence in support of any lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students who are often bullied, intimidated and harassed by other students.

His issue wasn't with the act of support, per se, even though he did think that any student who wouldn't answer a question due to participating in the Day of Silence should receive some sort of consequence. Yeah, that makes sense. He must have been channeling Dad29.

Sykes' beef had to do with a teacher and a guidance counselor who were alerting other staff to the upcoming event, giving them suggestions on teaching plans that would allow them to continue with their lesson plans while working around the silence, and offering ribbons and T-shirts to those who wanted them. The ribbons were free and the cost of the shirts were $8, which sounds about the cost of just making the shirts and no profit included.

Sykes was complaining that this meant school officials were using their official positions to support this Day of Silence.

To which, I would say, "Yeah? So what?"

I think it would be a sign of a good teacher and a good counselor who would want to be in touch with their students. I don't see anything wrong with them also using this to teach the students how to respect themselves and each other. It highlights current events going on across the country at this very time, and I thought that was what schools were for: To teach.

He really has nothing to go on, except hatred. The counselor and teacher that sent out the letter he was complaining about, if nothing else, alerted other staff members that this was coming out. They were not making any money about it. They were supporting students. What is so freaking bad about that? That they might have used school letterhead. He is going to get himself all worked up for a few cents of paper?

Maybe Sykes is afraid that their won't be another Matthew Shepard. Or maybe he is afraid that the kids will learn tolerance. They will learn about respecting each other, and not hating someone because they're different. The kids will be learning about equality.

And then no one will grow up wanting to listen to his hate-filled dreck.


  1. Charlie may be predictable but he's never original. Who came down against The day of Silence First?

    "Lastly, I was appalled when I read the American Family Association report that Friday, April 25, "several thousand schools across the nation will be observing 'Day of Silence (DOS).' DOS is a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools. … DOS is sponsored by an activist homosexual group, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.""

    Chuck Norris says so.

  2. I think it would be a sign of a good teacher and a good counselor who would want to be in touch with their students.

    Actually isn't that whats gotten alot of teachers in trouble the last few years? (Debra Lafave, etc)

  3. Grumps...I took a look at that link, and I can't believe that Chuck Norris posted that commentary. It's not like I know him, but who would have thought that he had such intolerant views?

    First, this American Family Association is pathetic. The founder has a screw loose and I can't believe anyone would listen or FOLLOW him. Yeck!

    Second, this DOS is not to promote homosexuality. It is to promote tolerance of homosexual students among their classmates.

    Unfortunately, in February of this year, a 15 year old kid named Larry King was shot in his head by a 14 year old classmate named Brandon. Brandon ended Larry's promising life, and ruined his own life, because he hated Larry for being homosexual.

    This DOS is to honor Larry and others like him, and to help teach kids like Brandon tolerance for classmates who might be homosexual in hopes to prevent history from repeating itself.

    The AFA is purposely misrepresenting the intention behind the DOS, which in my opinion only adds to the intolerance of homosexual students in our schools. That is unacceptable. Anyone who refuses to acknowledge how important it is to help kids learn new ways to deal with their anger and fears towards others that are different from them should be ashamed themselves.

    Also, Larry King was harassed and taunted relentlessly for weeks before his murder, and it sure would have been nice if only one teacher would have taken notice and stepped in before he was shot to death in his classroom. So, to nitpick that the teachers are getting too involved by offering T-shirts and ribbons is really ignorant and short sighted. I just hope that once this DOS is over more teachers stay vigilant for taunting, harassment, and other displays of intolerance in their classrooms.

    When I first read about Larry King I came across this quote and it touched me...too bad more of our religious leaders aren't as compassionate as Rev. Birchfield.

    “God knit Larry together and made him wonderfully complex,” the Rev. Dan Birchfield of Westminster Presbyterian Church told the crowd as he stood in front of a large photograph of the victim. “Larry was a masterpiece.”

  4. It's not enough for these so-called protectors of the family to spread their message of intolerance. they have to deny the basic humanity of those with whom they disagree.

    Charlie's casual homophobic smarm leads to a culture which cheapens and coarsens life for all of us.

  5. No, kids refusing to do their jobs (participate in school), and teachers condoning it, is just wrong. If I refused to do my job for any reason, I would be fired (and rightfully so). Kids need to learn that classtime is not the time or the place to protest or exhibit whatever empathy gave rise to the day of Silence First. That isn't homophobic - it is propriety and responsibility.

  6. Capper: get a clue. He was talking about schools in RACINE and SHEBOYGAN. That local enough for you. Or do you just pull this stuff out of your butt?

  7. Croc-

    They're not refusing to do their school work, they're just refusing to speak while they're doing it. What would you do, suspend deaf and mute children as well?

    It is only a tool to bring attention to the homophobia that is all too prevelant.


    Is that you again, Charlie?

  8. They're not refusing to do their school work, they're just refusing to speak while they're doing it. What would you do, suspend deaf and mute children as well?

    Now that's just silly. Part of school work is class participation (in fact I believe that's something taken into consideration when grading a student). If someone came to work but refused to answer questions or interact with co-workers, it would be detrimental to their job. Same here.

    And comparing this to deaf and mute children is way off base. It assumes they have no way of communicating.

    Now I'm not arguing against the spirit of the protest, so don't try to make it seem that way. But I do think school isn't necessarily the place for this, or at least if the students think it is they should expect to pay the same price were they to try something like this in the adult world.

  9. I think it is an absolutely ridiculous argument to compare kids in school to what adults do on their jobs.

    Also, if school is where the taunting, harassment, and violence takes place, then that is where tolerance should be taught.

  10. Why is it so ridiculous, Fair Play? I'm not saying that it's an exact comparison, but shouldn't school be preparing children for the rest of their lives? Unless the intent is to create a generation of adults who don't know the right time and place to stage a protest, they're going to be in for quite a shock when they try to pull the same thing during a meeting.

    And tolerance can certainly be taught, but that doesn't mean it should interrupt everything else they need to be learing there.

  11. Yes, that is right. Schools should be preparing kids for the rest of their lives. I am sure Larry King would have loved to have had the opportunity to live the rest of his life too. Just maybe had there been a DOS or some other tolerance lesson he would still be with us. Don't you think it is more important to teach children how to get along and not hurt each other first, and then build from there?

    What I like to know is how you turn a DOS into staging a "protest"? That is almost as annoying as AFA misrepresenting the DOS as promoting homosexuality. is ridiculous to compare the two (kids in school and adults at work) because they are not alike. As I said, schools should prepare kids for adulthood, but I happen to believe allowing kids to express themselves in such a positive manner is part of that preparation. I think it can only help kids mature into well adjusted adults.

  12. Dave-

    Two points. The first is one you made without realizing it. The kids can honor their vow of silence and still participate. Just in non-verbal means, like deaf kids. They can write, draw or sign their answeres. It might also give them the added benefit of understanding someone with a disability gets through life.

    Regarding your work comment. You accurately point out that would get fired for not participating or "doing your job". You're absolutely right. But you also forgot that the bullies would have already been fired for harassment and creating a hostile work environment, so the silence wouldn't be needed.