Letter: Criticism evokes thank-you to SAD 51

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I wish to take up the call from a Dec. 22 letter and express my opinions to School Administrative District 51 about Ally Week, the event that reportedly “celebrated” gay, lesbian and transgendered lifestyles.

I asked my daughter (a freshman) about it. She reported that they had “dot day,” when you could choose to wear a dot on your shirt to signify support for gay, lesbian or transgendered teens who have experienced hatred and harassment. She did not watch a movie and she did not report being pressured into any activities. Unbeknown to school officials, she and her friends have already discussed similar topics at lunch, so this opportunity for open dialog did not strike her as earth-shaking.

I also discovered that recently the school’s chorus had entered her classroom in order to sing holiday songs. Her class chose “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Silent Night.” She was not given the option to leave the room, but she did not mind.

So, SAD 51: thank you. Thank you for allowing a student-driven activity to be allotted time and space in school. Thank you for recognizing that the suicide rate for homosexual teens is almost 300 times higher than for their heterosexual peers. Thank you for recognizing that in America we are afforded freedom of expression. I thank you for giving my daughter the opportunity to express support for an oft-maligned segment of our population – and to hear some holiday music, including both secular and Christian tunes. Keep up the good work.

Laurie Wood
North Yarmouth