Friday, April 11, 2014/lk
OMAK Gay students and their supporters at Omak High School are observing a "Day of Silence" today, vowing not to talk to their peers on campus.
That has led some parents — who asked not to be identified out of fear their straight child will be singled out for not participating — to pull their students out of school for the day.
The Day of Silence is being pushed by the national Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. a group that purports to call attention to the plight of homosexuals by having students, teachers, school administrators and others remain silent for a day of public school.
Omak High School has a Gay-Straight Alliance club that formed last month. The club is an offshoot of the national network organized by Massachusetts teachers.
According to Omak school officials, the day is being observed voluntarily in the high school.
But at least two middle school parents say their daughters were informed Thursday they and other younger students should participate. That prompted the parents to keep their students home today.
Omak schools have also been under fire recently for enacting a transgender policy that allows students to choose their restroom, locker room and sports based on how they "gender identify," rather than actual gender.
School District Superintendent Erik Swanson said in practice, students won't use the alternate sex's facilities. Instead, they will be offered alternate facilities.
State law requires schools to adopt a transgender policy.