No 'Day of Silence' for Wesley Chapel High
Wesley Chapel High students approved their Wildcat Gay-Straight Alliance statement of understanding and acceptance more than three years ago. The school, principal Andy Frelick says, is "preaching tolerance all year."
That said, the school will not be participating in the April 25 annual "Day of Silence" that has recently come under attack nationally by the American Family Association and locally by Hillsborough county commissioner Brian Blair. AFA chairman Donald Wildmon (left) has urged Floridians (and parents across the country) to take action to stop "this public school classroom disruption by homosexual student activists," listing dozens of Florida high schools it expected to participate.
Wesley Chapel High appears on at least one version of that list. (It's the only Pasco school there, among about a dozen in the Tampa Bay area.) Frelick learned about it when a parent began making frequent calls to the school "blasting us."
But the school has no plans on taking part in the event because of the negative reaction to its involvement a few years back.
"Some of the local churches kind of blasted our staff members," Frelick tells the Gradebook, adding that some students and adults sported white anti-tolerance t-shirts to show their opposition. "It ended up being a day of intolerance, actually. And I don't want to put our kids through that."