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April 16, 2012 Print

Students Enter Dialogue This Week

by Karla Dial

Thousands of high school and college students in approximately 40 states are preparing to engage their peers in discussions about sexuality and God’s love on Thursday, as part of the annual Focus on the Family-sponsored Day of Dialogue.

“This event helps students have an equal opportunity and a safe space to express a faith-based point of view in a loving and respectful way,” said Candi Cushman, Focus on the Family’s education analyst and Day of Dialogue director. “It equips the next generation of Christian leaders with confidence that the Gospel of Christ speaks into even the most sensitive cultural issues.”

This is the second annual Day of Dialogue. Students like Kaitlin, a 16-year-old high school student in Michigan, say it’s important to them to present the Christian perspective on sexuality. About 12 students from her school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes are participating in the event this year, as they did in 2011.

“People were interested to get both sides. They’d heard about Day of Silence, and they were interested to see what we were doing” last year, she said. “They were open and really wondering what we had to say. God has the best purpose for us, even when we may not know it on our own.”

Schools that allow students to participate in the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s Day of Silence by putting up posters, wearing T-shirts and distributing information must extend the same equal-access rights to those participating in the Day of Dialogue, or else risk running afoul of their constitutional rights to be safeguarded from viewpoint discrimination.

The Alliance Defense Fund is prepared to offer free legal help to any students whose rights are violated by their schools.

There’s still time for students to register for the event.

Learn more about students’ legal rights.