Education

Illinois Family Institute Responds to Dr. Throckmorton

| by Illinois Family Institute

Open Letter to Warren Throckmorton:

We at Illinois Family Institute are troubled by both the title of your article, “Illinois Family Institute Hates the Sin, Avoids the Sinner,” and its content.

I don't know where in the text of our press release or in any of the documents we've posted on the Day of Silence Walkout you would get the idea that the coalition seeks to "avoid the sinner." Our concern is with the exploitation and disruption of instructional time for political action.

Contrary to the suggestion in your title, we actually want students-- heterosexual and homosexual alike--to remain in school together pursuing their studies. We in no way seek to separate heterosexual students from homosexual students or to separate those students with conservative views on homosexuality from those who hold liberal views.

Illinois Family Institute finds your title not only inaccurate and wholly without justification but also irresponsible in that it contributes to the pernicious deceit that Christians hate, fear, or seek to separate themselves from those who identify as homosexual.  
 
Furthermore, you made the statement regarding the Day of Silence press release that “the release first says the Day of Silence requires that teachers exempt students from speaking and then admits that the DOS does not mandate such exemption,” suggesting that statements in the press release were contradictory. The problem with your analysis is that the first statement addressed what the Day of Silence’s request for students to remain silent would require of teachers, while the second statement addressed what schools are legally required to do.

What the first sentence expresses is that the central defining feature of Day of Silence—classroom silence—necessitates that teachers who are permitted to accommodate student silence or instructed to accommodate it either exempt students from speaking or create activities around their silence. The second statement regarding the ACLU and Lambda Legal document simply makes clear to confused administrators and parents who erroneously believe that schools must permit student silence that schools have a legal right to require verbal participation in the classroom. Perhaps your confusion arose because the abbreviated nature of a press release necessarily precluded a full exposition of the issue.  

Political protest does not belong in the classroom. Taxpayer-subsidized instructional time should not be manipulated, exploited, or disrupted for any social or political goals or messages. Our coalition has not asked for students to shed their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse door. Day of Silence participants have the right to wear t-shirts and put up posters. But the important goal of ending bullying does not justify the means of intruding into and disrupting instructional time; nor does it justify the use of public money to transform society’s views on the nature and morality of volitional sexual conduct.

Finally, opposition to political action in the classroom and opposition to the efforts of activist educators to inculcate students with their unproven, controversial theories on the moral status of homosexual behavior do not constitute support for bullying.

Sincerely,

Laurie Higgins
Illinois Family Institute

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Read the original article from Dr. Throckmorton, "Illinois Family Institute Hates the Sin, Avoids the Sinner"