By Jordan Loucks, Writer
You may have noticed students who opted out of verbal communication on Friday the fifteenth of April, may have heard the phrase “day of silence” spoken among groups, or seen some people using paper or whiteboards to communicate with others. But why were students not talking? What is this “day of silence” you might have heard about?
The Day of Silence was originally organized in 1996 at the University of Virginia, and since then has become the largest, student-led action towards creating safer schools, spreading across the country with organized events in over 8,000 schools. It was founded by the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to promote safe schools for everyone regardless of sexual orientation and gender identification and expression. But why a day of “silence”? The vow of silence students take calls attention to the silence that comes from anti-LGBTQ bullying and harassment in schools. It also tries to educate people on effective responses to the name calling and bullying. GLSEN offers resources to students or teachers who wish to organize an event at their school, and also offers tips on how to participate and support the movement. There is even an entire website dedicated to the Day of Silence, from explaining what it is, to where to get resources, to explaining to students their rights when it comes to their participation.
If you are interested in participating in next year’s Day of Silence, it is scheduled for April 27th. If you are interested in learning more about the Day of Silence or GLSEN, click on the links below.