Day of silence protests by Christian students

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A group of high school students in California were suspended for refusing to take off anti-gay T-shirts.

The shirts, which the students wore in protest of last week’s Day of Silence, said “Sodomy is sin” and quoted a Bible passage about homosexuality.

Phil Spears, interim principal of Rio Linda High School, told the Sacramento Bee that the shirts violated the school’s dress code.

Students were asked to take them off, he said, and were suspended if they disobeyed the request.

“They’re offensive to some people and disruptive to school,” he told the Bee. “Kids are going to react to these.”

The Day of Silence is a national day of campus activism organized by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

For the past 11 years, participating students take a day-long vow of silence to raise awareness of the harassment and bullying that many gay teens face.

Protests were not nearly as large or inflammatory Wednesday as at other schools last year.

Some of the suspended students and their supporters staged an after-school protest outside Rio Linda High.

They held signs saying, “School censors Bible,” “School bans free speech” and “Don’t silence Christians.”

Protesters say the Day of Silence promotes a gay agenda in the public schools. They say they should be entitled to counter it by promoting a Christian message.