CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On Tuesday, April 15, the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools (CMS) Board of Education defeated member Kaye McGarry’s proposal to excuse anti-gay and conservative students’ absences on the annual National Day of Silence, Friday, April 25. The board also defeated an attempt to ban all Day of Silence activities in Charlotte schools.

The proposal to excuse absences was defeated 8-1. Board member Larry Gauvreau joined McGarry in motion to deny students the right to participate in the Day of Silence. That motion failed 7-2. CMS’ attorney said the Day of Silence is protected free speech.

“The bottom line is really interference in the classroom,” McGarry said, according to NBC-affiliate WCNC.

“It just sickens me that this board and this superintendent can’t figure out that this is simply wrong,” Gauvreau said.

Read our April 19 feature story, Day of Silence sparks outcry, for more on the Day of Silence.