Colorado middle school requires teachers to show LGBTQ+ ‘Day of Silence’ video to students

(The Daily Signal) – A middle school in Colorado set time aside for all students and staff to participate in a daylong LGBTQ+ celebration, encouraging students to watch a promotional video,…

(The Daily Signal) – A middle school in Colorado set time aside for all students and staff to participate in a daylong LGBTQ+ celebration, encouraging students to watch a promotional video, complete “solidarity” activities, and buy related merchandise.

On April 19, Campus Middle School in the municipality of Greenwood Village required staff to show a video and distribute worksheets and a list of activities encouraging students to participate in the LGBTQ+ “Day of Silence,” documents obtained by The Daily Signal show.

Campus Middle School is part of the Cherry Creek School District, which serves over 53,000 students in Greenwood Village across 67 buildings.

In a Day of Silence, created by LGBTQ+ activists, participants are encouraged to remain silent for the day “in solidarity” with those whom activists claim are “bullied,” “marginalized,” and “harassed” for being gay, bisexual, nonbinary, transgender, or another sexual expression that became trendy in the past decade.

On April 12, one week before its celebration, Campus Middle School administrators notified staff that the entire school would participate in the solidarity event sponsored by the school’s extracurricular LGBTQ+ group, called the Campus Spectrum Club. 

Spectrum Club advisers told teachers to let students refrain from speaking in class unless absolutely necessary. Parents weren’t notified at all.

On April 15, Barry Sterling—described on Cherry Creek Public Schools’ website as an instructional coach, yearbook adviser, and Spectrum adviser—sent an email instructing Campus Middle School faculty to show a video to students during a daily “Advisory” period, 18 minutes during which students meet with a school adviser or counselor.

In the video, the a cappella group Pentatonix sings John Lennon’s song “Imagine” as slides encourage students to participate in the Day of Silence and buy buttons from Spectrum showing their support.

Although the video shown to students includes a call for “solidarity” with those “bullied and harassed” for their race and religion, there is little evidence that a Day of Silence ever has been observed for any “marginalized” individuals except those identifying as LGBTQ+.

The videos, emails, and slides from Campus Middle School were provided to The Daily Signal by the Colorado Parent Advocacy Network, a parental rights watchdog organization. 

The documents were compiled by local teachers and parents and confirmed by requests under the Colorado Open Records Act, said Lori Gimelshteyn, president of the parents group. 

Although the Cherry Creek School District didn’t confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents and videos shared with The Daily Signal, a district representative confirmed that parents were not notified about Campus Middle School’s observance of the Day of Silence for LGBTQ+ individuals.

“I believe schools and parents should work together to educate their children,” Campus Middle School parent Karl Dierenbach told The Daily Signal. “When Campus Middle School hides activism like the Day of Silence from parents, it diminishes trust in the school. Why wouldn’t they tell us about this so we can discuss it with our children?  What else are they not telling us?”

Cherry Creek School District is one of hundreds of public school districts around the United States that have come under fire from parents in recent years for misleading them about or hiding political, racial, and sexual policies and activities.

The Daily Signal has reported on school districts in over a dozen states that have hidden, obfuscated, or lied about liberal activist policies and curriculums funded by taxpayers.

Parents Defending Education, an education watchdog group, reported that Cherry Creek High School provided a newsletter to teachers in February encouraging them to “dismantle systems of oppression.”

According to a poster obtained by The Daily Signal from the Colorado Parent Advocacy Network, Campus Middle School hosted a series of professional development sessions for staff April 9 through May 7 called “Transforming Classrooms Into LGBTQ+ Affirming Spaces.”

The school district did not respond to The Daily Signal’s question about the poster’s authenticity by time of publication.

Gimelshteyn told The Daily Signal that she believes “cloak and dagger” incidents such as these are responsible for membership “skyrocketing” in her Colorado Parent Advocacy Network.

The surge in interest in parental rights comes as “parents discover the dishonesty lurking in Colorado schools,” she said.