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April 5, 2012 Print

Students Bring Compassion to Tough Topics at School

by CitizenLink Staff

Focus on the Family recently heard from a mom about how her daughter’s school participated in the homosexual-themed Day of Silence. After her daughter chose not to participate, the student faced an onslaught of negative, ostracizing posts on Facebook and texts angrily challenging her biblical beliefs.

And earlier this week, news broke about an Ohio high school student who’s suing his school for the right to wear a T-shirt saying, “Jesus Is Not a Homophobe” in honor of the Day of Silence.  (For in-depth information on the Day of Silence, read today’s blog, “Dialogue for All — or Silence for Some?”)

The fact is that more schools are growing bolder in promoting things like homosexuality and transgenderism on campus — with the discussion often wading into the realm of students’ religious beliefs.

So how are Christian students to respond when they encounter these topics on their public school campuses? Are they equipped to tackle those issues in a loving and Christ-centered way? How do they express their compassion for victims of bullying while also confidently articulating their biblical worldview?

That’s where a Focus-sponsored event for high school and college students — the Day of Dialogue® — comes into play.

On April 19, thousands of Christian students will take the lead in organizing Day of Dialogue events at their schools. They’ll initiate conversations on their campuses about the fact that God cares about every single student in the school: He cares about every detail of their lives, including their relationships, their sexuality and their souls. The event also equips students of faith to speak into the bullying issue by openly acknowledging that they are Christians, and therefore, will reflect Christ by taking the lead in standing against bullying of any kind.

Free-speech tools for students are available on the DayofDialogue.com website, including downloadable Conversation Cards and free T-shirt and poster designs, as well as tips for having a successful event and for responding to challenges in a grace-filled manner.

“This event emphasizes having an open dialogue and a free exchange of ideas among students on the important social issues of our day. It helps students have a safe space to express a faith-based viewpoint in a loving and respectful way,” said Candi Cushman, Focus’ education analyst and director of the DayofDialogue.com.

“It also challenges students to reflect the true model presented by Jesus Christ in the Bible — who didn’t back away from speaking truth, but neither held back in pouring out his incredible, compassionate love for hurting and vulnerable people.”

Take Action

If you have students in your life — either at home or at church — you’ll definitely want to let them know about the opportunity to join this event. Students need to plan in advance and check into school policy for doing things like putting up posters, so don’t delay in signing up! They can register here.

You can also learn more about the event and obtain downloadable Conversation Cards and poster designs at www.dayofdialogue.com.



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