Today, Colorado AcademyUpper School students will recognize Day of Silence—a day devoted to showing support for LGBTQ+ people across the world by remaining silent for the day. Our Upper School Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) club has organized a voluntary, daylong event on campus and is offering a number of ways for the CA community to participate. Some will choose to remain silent, and our teachers know to expect this. Others can write messages on posters showing their support of their friends.
Supporting each and every student and employee is a commitment we make, given our mission and values. Thus, we unabashedly embrace inclusivity and bring compassion and empathy to creating a place of belonging for all. Day of Silence is a great way to model our mission to encourage understanding by listening to others and acting ethically, with integrity and respect.
We do this all while affirming that CA is a private school—a place where I don’t want government regulation to interfere with how we frame our mission and programs. We want to compete and have freedom to chart our own path, and we do this, guided by the belief in the dignity of all human beings and that government policies should not discriminate.
Our nation is now seeing a wave of homophobia that is shameless in its attacks on LGBTQ+ educators and even addresses what should be a basic understanding that there are LGBTQ+ human beings on this Earth. In the light of progress for gay marriage and an American pop culture being more accepting of LGBTQ+ Americans, it’s hard to accept that some politicians are attacking the identity of gay and lesbian teachers and any curriculum that acknowledges that LGBTQ+ people exist. What particularly disappoints me is the idea that any curriculum that acknowledges the existence of LTBTQ+ human beings is the equivalent of “grooming” students. How can this not be seen as anything but hatred and bigotry?
We at CA don’t see it that way. Our community benefits by the diversity each member brings. Our focus is to serve our students with honor and high ethics. Our human development curriculum teaches various topics of LGBTQ+ in age-appropriate ways. And, our students will continue to hear from the diverse voices of this community. It is important to note that many students and families want this programming and want to lean into difficult conversations.
So today on this Day of Silence, I’m hopeful our LGBTQ+ students feel the support of the CA administration, but as we all know, actions speak louder than words. If you are on campus today, join me.