Time have changed! Remember John Silber? Here is a Facebook post from a few hours ago:

And here are some excerpts from a letter John Silber sent out two decades ago:

We have received a number of letters questioning the decision made recently to discontinue the Gay-Straight Student Alliance at the Boston University Academy. I made that recommendation to the Academy’s Headmaster, Dr. Jim Tracy… I had not known of the alliance until I was called by BU Academy parents who wanted to know why there was a National Coming Out Day on the calendar of the Boston University Academy. They informed me that they had not sent their child to the school for that purpose. I told them I would look into it…

The Academy’s students flourished for seven years without a Gay-Straight Student Alliance or any similar organization…The school’s faculty and staff are devoted to developing in their students a tradition of thoughtful scholarship and reflection. They embrace this mission knowing that adolescence is a tumultuous time in which young people confront complex and often confusing questions about themselves and the world around them, including their own emerging sexuality… When the Gay-Straight Alliance introduced National Coming Out Day on the Academy calendar, the purpose was to encourage students to declare publicly their sexual orientation. No child, and indeed no adult, should ever feel obliged to do that. Each has a right to privacy. This is an unacceptable form of pressure initiated by a national alliance with an agenda, whose aim is not merely to encourage tolerance of homosexuality but to promote and endorse it…

For many students, the Academy has been their first experience of attending a school where fellow students share their aptitude and enthusiasm for serious scholarship and a rigorous program of study. Over the years, we have often heard students at the Academy remark that this is the first school which has taken their intellectual abilities and interests seriously, and where they have not felt different because of those interests and abilities. The freedom to enjoy and explore creative and intellectual pursuits is also a hallmark of the safe and supportive learning environment all schools aspire to be.

That was then, this is now.

Categories: Teaching & Learning