Browsing Day of Silence
On the Day of Silence starting at 3 PM EST we'll be hosting a Tweet Chat LIVE! Come and share your experiences with Day of Silence organizers from across the country. Also, a crew of GLSEN staff members will be available to answer your questions.
Participation is easy!
- Click here to join the #DayofSilence Tweet Chat room.
- Make sure to click "Sign in with Twitter" in the upper right corner.
- Enter your Twitter login info.
- Join the conversation!
We're excited to hear all of your Day of Silence stories!
>Anthony Crisci is GLSEN's Days of Action Intern. He's been working really hard for the past several months to deliver communications, resources and products to student organizers. He reflects on his experience and shares with us his thoughts about the Day of Silence.
Labeling envelopes, collecting materials, posting information, responding to emails; these are some of the things I do everyday as an intern for the Day of Silence. I have printed out thousands of labels each with a different name, a different address, but not one with a face. While getting ready for the Day of Silence I often try to picture some of the hundreds of thousands of students that will be participating, but despite my efforts they often remain faceless.
These faceless students are exactly what the Day of Silence represents. If schools made addressing anti-LGBT bullying and harassment a priority there certainly would not be a need for this day. The students who will be participating in the Day of Silence are the same students who are forced to walk through school halls each day not only frequently hearing anti-LGBT language and slurs, but in extreme cases becoming victims of anti-LGBT violence. These incidents are not stories that often make the news; they occur so frequently that they are often seen as common place and un-noteworthy.
The Day of Silence is a day when these faceless students make the news. For one day the entire country will stop and acknowledge the existence of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. This time it will not be because of a tragic murder or suicide, this time we will acknowledge this problem because of the peaceful silent demonstration of students who will not remain faceless any longer. I may not be able to see their faces, but students in thousands of schools across the country will be standing together in silence on April 15, 2011. They may be alone at their school, but they know that the entire country will be watching and listening… to their silence.
>Today is the National Day of Silence.
DID YOU KNOW...?
- Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment in American schools each year.
- 60% of LGBT youth feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation.
- Nearly 1 out of 3 LGBT youth missed school in the past month because of safety concerns.
On the National Day of Silence, hundreds of thousands of students at thousands of middle schools, high schools and colleges will take some form of a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools.
So...what are YOU going to do to end the silence?
All statistics were taken from the 2009 National School Climate Survey.
>Being a student and an organizer can be a lot! Frequently we hear from organizers who have been planning for the Day of Silence for weeks only to find themselves unprepared on the morning of their event.
So, take the time this afternoon/evening to double check your to-do list with your advisor and/or fellow organizers. Make sure you haven’t put anything off until the last minute because once you get to school you will want to be able to hit the ground running in order to make the biggest impact.
Here are some things to remember as you finalize your arrangements for your Day of Silence event:
- LIST: Make a to-do list of final tasks and think of people who could take on some of those tasks for you. Get started with the items on this list!
- REGISTER: If you haven't already, be sure to CLICK HERE to register your participation in the Day of Silence and be counted among the hundreds of thousands of other students nationwide participating in the Day of Silence.
- CONNECT: The night before your event call, email or text all of the people helping you organize to make sure everyone is on the same page.
- PRINT: Be sure you have all the materials you need, and extras to hand out, such as: Speaking Cards, Lambda Legal: Freedom to Speak (Or Not) 2011, ACLU: Letter to Principal or Educator, Stickers, and Posters and cut, fold, or label these materials as needed.
- GATHER: Get all Day of Silence items and materials in one place to ensure that they are clean and organized (shirts, buttons, stickers, pamphlets, speaking cards, posters, etc.)
- CHARGE: You want to take pictures, right? Text? Tweet? Make sure your camera, phone and computer batteries are all charged up and ready to go in the morning!
- DOUBLE CHECK your to-do list: It never hurts to be extra careful!
- REST: You're gonna need it for your exciting day of taking action!
Ready, set, go!
>We’ve received reports from a number of organizers who have suffered problems after wearing duct tape on their mouths. As a consequence we feel it is important to address this safety issue. While we have never encouraged nor endorsed wearing duct tape for the Day of Silence, we recognize that the symbolism of putting duct tape over the mouth has become quite popular amongst some DOS organizers.
Duct tape uses a very strong, water-resistant adhesive. When students attempt to take off the tape we have heard about a range of problems. In some instances there have been minor issues such as having difficulty removing the tape's glue from skin. In other more severe cases, students have experienced hair removal, rashes and skin irritation, and torn or ripped skin.
And, wearing tape over your mouth can cause unwanted resistance from your school's administration who may also be concerned for your safety. As a result they may forbid the use of duct tape or try to stop Day of Silence activities. Since the goal is to be able to have an effective Day of Silence, it may be more strategic to consider other ways of showing your support.
It's definitely not a requirement to cover your mouth for the Day of Silence, but if you want to consider using a bandanna or surgical mask. They're much safer, more comfortable and you can reuse them!
UPDATE: As one organizer has just pointed out, students who wear lip jewelry could be in for a painful breaking the silence.
Coming Out in Silence
Sophomore year was coming to an end, and I had survived my first year in an American high school. I had just moved to the US from halfway across the globe and as I was finally getting over home sickness and settling in to my new life I was realizing something about myself that I did not like. Something I did not understand completely and could not identify anyone to talk to about. Being queer was ostracized in my culture and never spoken of with my friends.
Two years ago on a seemingly normal Monday, someone at lunch had mentioned that there was a Gay-Straight Alliance forming in our school and that they were having their first meeting that Friday. I made a quick joke about it and changed the subject. However as the week progressed I found the courage to tell my brother that I was thinking of going to the GSA meeting. Without question he said that he would accompany me. Soon Friday had arrived and coincidently it was also the Day of Silence. Although there was nothing official happening, a lot of students were wearing red to show their support and remained silent throughout the day. It took all the courage I had to walk into that first meeting. As I walked in I saw familiar faces: my classmates, my brother, a teacher I had seen around campus. I was welcomed with a smile and offered snacks.
That Day of Silence I did not come of the closet, in fact I was far from even coming out to myself. However that Friday, in Room 119, I had come out as an ally to LGBT youth. That is the power of the Day of Silence: it gives students a platform to stand up against bullying and show solidarity with LGBT students.
Seeing affirmative students and an adult at that first GSA meeting and during Day of Silence made a world of difference for me. Since then we have a well established GSA at our school and have over a hundred students and teachers participating in the Day of Silence. Today I am a committed LGBT youth activist and have found agency through self advocacy but I am here because of the support of amazing peers and my GSA advisor. I know how lucky I am to have counselors, teachers and even the principal who are supportive and know that is not the case for a lot of students across the nation and around the world. This is my call to all students. Take part in the nation’s largest student led actions; pledge a day of silence this April 15th; pledge a commitment to making schools safer for all students.
Stay tuned for more Day of Silence stories. If you would like to share your story, email us at email@example.com.
>Tweet, not speak.
On the Day of Silence. Friday, April 15 we want to get as many people as possible to tweet about DOS as much as you can to help spread the word about its importance. Here's how you can participate:
1) Sign Up on Twitter! It's easy to get a Twitter account, just CLICK HERE to get started.
2) Get a Twibbon! CLICK HERE to add the stylish Day of Silence twibbon for your Twitter icon to let others know that you're supporting the Day of Silence.
3) Use the #DayofSilence Hashtag! Hashtags are words starting with # and create easily searchable posts. It makes it so that Day of Silence supporters can find your tweet! Each time you update, be sure to include #DayofSilence somewhere in the tweet.
4) Tweet all day on April 15! You can tweet about anything Day of Silence related. Tweet what you’re doing for DOS. Tweet how many students are participating at your school. Tweet the different ways you’re getting support. Tweet if you’re holding a Breaking the Silence event. Tweet about how many buttons you’re wearing. Tweet about the reactions of your classmates. Just keep the tweets coming!
Tweet Chat LIVE Friday!
We’ll have a team tweet-in on Friday afternoon in solidarity with all the hundreds of thousands of students participating in the Day of Silence. We’ll do our best to keep up with your questions. Stay tuned to @DayofSilence on Twitter for more information!
How does Twitter work? Learn more with this video.
With fear, pride, and a shaky voice I was forced to pull my self out of my comfortable yet crammed up closet. The closet I had been a refugee in for as long as I could remember. Their reaction was less violent and dramatic than I had expected. No glass was shattered, but something inside me broke by their reaction. "Stay quiet about this!" my mother demanded. "Don't you dare tell anyone else about you being like THAT." Like that? She could not even repeat what I had just told her. A simple three letter word that I usually said happily and proud had been turned into a sick, unmentionable word. Her words were painful, but the look she gave me could kill. "You are confused; You will change your mind when you find the right guy!" she continued as tears rolled down my cheek. I tried to speak but the words just choked me. Tears were all I could release. I stood there frozen as the woman, that held me in her arms when I was younger and put band-aids on my boo-boos, spit hate at me. That night, as I sat in my room both relieved and sad, I heard her say that I was not the child she expected I would be and that she was very disappointed.
Silence! That is what she wanted from me; her loud kid that gets in trouble for being overly hyper and talkative. But you know what? No one can make me feel bad for being myself! I am proud and no one will take that away! You may be able to repress me and keep my mouth shut for a while, but not forever! Soon I will be free to skip in the daisy fields and scream, "I am GAY and proud!" I will fly without a muzzle away from here!
I am lucky though. While I have only been temporarily silenced, others silence is more permanent. Everyday LGBT teens are silenced by their peers, parents, and other authorities. Some are silenced for moments, some for years, others for life. Some are bullied into silence, others are murdered into it. This Day of Silence, I will show support to those who have been muzzled in fear by giving up my voice for a day. It is important that we all stand together to make the echo of silence roar through our communities. Let kids know that they are not alone and that some people really do care.
Stay tuned for more Day of Silence stories. If you would like to share your story, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
>The Day of Silence, Friday, April 15, is fast approaching and it's time to get organizing! Each week we'll post tips to help you plan your Day of Silence activities.
Goals for April 11-15
Day of Silence is almost here! It’s time to pump up the excitement and to make sure everyone is prepared!
- Spread the word: You've worked for weeks to get the word out about the Day of Silence, so keep it going! Make sure students, teachers and administrators in your school know that the Day of Silence is happening and what to expect from participants. Notifying people early is the key to a successful and effective Day of Silence!
- Be visible: Red is the official DOS color, so if everyone participating wears red you'll be sure to stand out. And don’t forget t-shirts, buttons, stickers, face-paint—these are all ways you can help draw attention to your action.
- Be respectful: The Day of Silence is about ending anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in school. To do this, it's important to treat people with respect. There are likely people at your school who will try to challenge your silence, your activities or your beliefs. Treat these people not as they treat you but with the same respect you hope to be treated with. Remember, the Day of Silence is a peaceful demonstration!
- Know your rights: Remember, you DO have the right to remain silent between classes and before/after school. You do NOT have the right to ignore your teachers' requests during instructional time. If a teacher asks for you to speak during class, do it! Please don’t put your education at risk. Review this document, which outlines some of your rights during the Day of Silence. (Lambda Legal PDF Download)
If you have any questions or ideas, or if you want to tell us what you’re planning for your Day of Silence please email us at email@example.com.
>ACLU’s Don’t Filter Me Project
Did you know that it’s illegal for public schools to use their web filtering software to deny students access to positive, affirming information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues while allowing access to anti-LGBT websites? The American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT Project, along with the Yale Law School LGBT Litigation Clinic, is asking public high school students throughout the U.S. to check out your high school’s web filters to make sure you’re not being blocked from information you have a right to have!
CLICK HERE to learn how to check and report on your school’s filtering.
For more info, check out this great video: