What is the Day of Silence?
The Day of Silence, which is today, April 27, is a student-led nationwide protest of the bullying and silencing of LGBTQ+ students. The Day of Silence was first organized in 1996 by students of the University of Virginia for a project on nonviolent protest and has since grown to include universities and high schools across the U.S. It has been sponsored by GLSEN since 2001.
Why is the Day of Silence important?
According to a survey done by GLSEN in 2013, three out of four LGBTQ+ students reported experiencing verbal harassment at school due to sexual orientation and over half due to their gender presentation. About a third missed at least one day of school in the past month due to feeling unsafe. Day of Silence aims to draw attention to these abuses, which often go unnoticed, and to end the silence that the victims often have to keep in order to be safe.
How can I participate?
You can register with GLSEN, but you don’t have to do that to participate. Primarily, you should know your rights. GLSEN has a good guide for them. Write out an explanation of what you’re doing on an index card so you can explain your silence without breaking it. You can also plan a fun Breaking the Silence party or rally after school ends.