OITS Controversy in Dallastown
Published On February 7, 2012 » By Jason Landau Goodman » Community, Profiles

‘Out in the Silence’ Screening Sparks Controversy in Dallastown

YORK, PA -The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC) continues to monitor an unfolding controversy in Dallastown, Pa. involving a contested screening of Emmy-award winning documentary film “Out in the Silence.”

The screening, which was hosted by Dallastown Area High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) on Jan. 25, struck a chord with former Dallastown school board member Carroll Tignall, who has expressed fears of a “covert” agenda on the part of local LGBTQ activists, according to the York Dispatch. Before the screening, the York Dispatch ran an article highlighting hateful comments and actions generated by Tignall and others in Dallastown.

“They aren’t supposed to be interfering with parental authority,” Tignall said.

The next day, the York Dispatch published a groundbreaking editorial in support of the GSA. Most recently, a homophobic letter to the editor was published in the York Dispatch by a local parent who attended the screening.

PSEC stands behind the Dallastown High School GSA and its brave efforts to combat intolerance in its community. Bullying of any kind is considered unacceptable, and PSEC rejects accusations that the club or the school’s administration officials have crossed any boundaries. Administration officials are commended for supporting the GSA’s efforts to address the all too common conflicts in rural communities over acceptance of LGBTQ youth.

“In this ordeal, Dallastown has shown it is on the front lines of creating safer communities for LGBTQ youth in Pennsylvania – a meaningful film screening took place and good prevailed,” PSEC Executive Director Jason Landau Goodman said. “With every positive conversation this screening of ‘Out in the Silence’ has sparked in the Central PA region, another step is taken toward inclusion and respect of all people.”

One such conversation includes courageous comments by an editor of the York Dispatch, who highlighted the fragile state of LGBTQ youth and declared to critics that they should “leave the gay-straight club alone.”

And despite reports from attendees of being turned away following the event, a PSEC high school student leader from a neighboring community in York County noted the event’s uplifting nature and emphasis on positivity. PSEC will continue to support Dallastown’s GSA as tensions continue to rise.

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About The Author

Jason Landau Goodman is a law student at the University of Pittsburgh, and the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Youth Congress. A recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Jason is a fifth generation Pennsylvanian from Lower Merion, PA.

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