Students at Felix Festa Middle School in New York felt they were “bullied” into participating in an LGBTQ “Day of Silence,” according to an anonymous parent report received by the Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR).
Students at schools across the nation participate in the “Day of Silence” on April 22, wearing black, changing their Google classroom picture and background, signing a Google form and remaining silent. (RELATED: Viral Video Shows Bud Light Exec Trashing Brand’s ‘Fratty And Out-Of-Touch’ Marketing)
“Children who are not LGBTQ feel compelled to remain silent because they fear being bullied by their peers. The participants of the SGA (student gay alliance) go around with a sign up board asking their straight peers to sign and agree to being silent on that specific day,” according to the report. “Children often sign because of fear or looking bad or being called homophobic. Many children stay home from school that day so they aren’t frowned upon for participating in the classroom.”
On March 27th, FAIR sent a letter to Felix Festa Achievement Middle School in West Nyack, New York. The letter was in response to incident reports we had received on #FAIRtransparency regarding the school’s plans for the national Day of Silence… 🧵https://t.co/KmA6e0eIli
— Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) (@fairforall_org) April 8, 2023
FAIR sent a letter to Felix Fiesta School on March 27, writing that “requiring students to remain silent as a form of political activism violates the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment.”
“While it is not clear that the school is requiring students to participate in the Day of Silence, it seems that students are perhaps constructively being required to participate in order to avoid being harassed or bullied,” the letter read. “Felix Festa has an obligation to provide its students with a learning environment that is free from undue bullying and harassment.”
In a response dated March 31, attorneys representing the school assured FAIR that they respected the rights of their students and did not allow harassment or bullying.
“Other than providing for advisors, as required for all student clubs, neither the District nor the Middle School Administration directs the activities of the club or requires participation or support,” the response read.