Carroll Tignall could be the poster boy for Dallastown Area High School's Gay-Straight Alliance club.

The former school board member epitomizes the need for such groups, which promote diversity and acceptance of gay and lesbian teens.

Tignall apparently doesn't approve of homosexuality, and he's up in arms about the club's screening tonight -- at the high school -- of "Out in the Silence," a documentary dealing with the bullying of a gay student.

It's a sign, Tignall believes, the district is "covertly" promoting homosexuality -- and he's been trying to rally other concerned residents to attend the screening.

We're not sure why, if Tignall disapproves so strongly of gays and lesbians, he would want to attend a Gay-Straight Alliance club. (There are probably going to be some gay people there, after all.)

It seems a better approach would be to attend a school board meeting and confront the members and administration about their sinister plot to create homosexuals.

Tignall and whoever else he manages to enlist might think their attendance at the screening is a sign of protest against their imagined threat.

Of course, the students in the club might not see it that way.

They might very reasonably take it as harassment and intimidation.

Unfortunately, those are things many gay and lesbian students are all too familiar with.


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According to the It Gets Better Project, nine out of 10 gay, lesbian and transgender students have experienced harassment at school, and they're bullied two to three times as much as straight kids. A third of them have attempted suicide, and they're four times as likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.

"Out in the Silence" focuses on a gay student from Oil City, Pa., who is being tormented at school because of his homosexuality. His mother reaches out to a local filmmaker, who recently put an ad in the local newspaper announcing his marriage to another man, to try to help her son.

"The aim of 'Out in the Silence' is to expand public awareness about the difficulties that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people face in rural and small town America and to promote dialogue and action that will help people on all sides of the issues find common ground," according to the film's website.

Now there's a thought.

Tignall ought to stay home tonight and think of a better way of expressing his opinion.

But if he's dead set on attending the club's screening, we hope he takes a seat and pays attention.