“On the National Day of Silence hundreds of thousands of students nationwide take a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools.” – GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network)
The Day of Silence is an event that was originally founded by a group of students at the University of Virginia, in 1996. Since then, it has quickly spread to become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Today, students from all over the world gather together on this day to support the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community and protest their ongoing mistreatment.
Too many youths are victims of something as simple as an misunderstanding. Through education and the spread of awareness (at the primary, secondary and post-secondary levels), the Day of Silence hopes to achieve an end to the endemic of name-calling and harassment that LGBT students and their allies face every day.
On April 16th, students can help support this cause by taking a vow of silence for either the entire day or a portion of, during which they will pass out cards that say:
Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence; a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies in schools. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by name-calling, bullying and harassment. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward fighting these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today. What are you going to do to end the silence?
By doing so, participating students can help send the message that this kind of harassment is unacceptable and should end today.
What are YOU going to do to help end the silence?
By Flavia Kajoba