Browsing Day of Silence

April 06, 2011

>Can a teacher tell me to speak during class? What are my rights when I participate in the Day of Silence?

According to Lambda Legal, “Under the Constitution, public schools must respect students’ right to free speech. The right to speak includes the right not to speak, as well as the right to wear buttons or T-shirts expressing support for a cause…”

However, this right to free speech does not extend to classroom time. “If a teacher tells a student to answer a question during class, the student generally doesn’t have a constitutional right to refuse to answer.” We remind participants that students who talk with their teachers ahead of time are more likely to be able to remain silent during class.

Know your rights! Read The Freedom to Speak (Or Not) by Lambda Legal to learn about your legal rights to participate in the Day of Silence.

Report It! Are you experiencing resistance to your Day of Silence organizing or activities from your school administrators or faculty? If you are a student in a U.S. K-12 school and feel like your rights are not being respected, please click here to let us know!

April 05, 2011

>Day of Silence Reporter and GLSEN Student Ambassador Nowmee S. shares this video about why the Day of Silence is an important action to address anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in K-12 schools. Check it out!


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Stay tuned for more Day of Silence content from Nowmee and other student reporters! If you would like to submit your story, email us at info@dayofsilence.org.

April 04, 2011

>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 4-8

The more support you have, the more effective your event can be. Continue talking with teachers, students and community members about ways they can support your Day of Silence activities.

  • Notify Faculty: You’ve already connected with supportive teachers; now it’s time to let all staff know. Give each staff member a letter explaining what to expect on the Day of Silence. Include the contact people for the event, including the supportive staff member on your Team. Remember to be open and available to questions and concerns about the day.
  • Participant Meeting: This meeting is for everyone who intends on participating in the Day of Silence. Talk with the group about their expectations, goals, fears and hopes for the event. Staying silent for the Day isn’t easy, so it’s good to allow students to practice how to respond to questions or resistance from students and faculty. Try using the Concentric Circles Activity in Jump-Start Guide #1.
  • Back to the Press: Send your Press Release to local news media again now that Day of Silence is around the corner.
  • Make new posters: If you put up a new set of fliers and posters around the school it will cause people to take notice a second time.
  • And don’t forget to schedule a Team meeting for next week!

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 info@dayofsilence.org.

And don't forget to join the conversation on the Day of Silence Facebook Page and @DayofSilence on Twitter.

March 30, 2011

>We don’t have school on the Day of Silence. Does that mean I can’t participate?

Your school district may not have classes on the National Day of Silence, but that doesn’t mean you can’t participate. We encourage everyone to organize their Day of Silence events on a day that works best for their school and community. Schedule your DOS activities on another day or week. You can also collaborate with other schools, GSAs and students in your area to hold your DOS on the same day so you can generate local interest.

For more organizing tips download the Day of Silence Organizing Manual.

March 28, 2011

>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 March 28-April 1

The more support you have, the more effective your event can be. Continue talking with teachers, students and community members about ways they can support your Day of Silence activities.

  • Educate: There are a lot of ways that your teachers can support the Day of Silence. Print out the Educators Guide and give it to teachers you think would be interested.
  • Find Community Support: It’s good to notify local supportive community groups of your events, especially if you’re holding a rally, training, or social to Break the Silence. Notify and, if applicable, invite community groups. Also, there are over thirty local GLSEN Chapters across the country. Find out if there is one near you!
  • Cross it Off: It’s possible that there are a few items on your task list that didn’t get completed in the past few weeks. Take some time to make sure that everyone is taking care of their tasks.
  • Show Appreciation: It’s important to let your Team members know that you and others appreciate their work. Take some time during your weekly meeting to let everyone express their appreciation of their fellow teammates.
  • Schedule a Participant Meeting: This is for everyone who intends on participating in Day of Silence. This may be the same group as your Team of organizers, but if not, schedule a second meeting for next week so you can prepare students for DOS.
  • And don’t forget to schedule a Team meeting for next week!

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 info@dayofsilence.org.

And don't forget to join the conversation on the Day of Silence Facebook Page and @DayofSilence on Twitter.

March 23, 2011

>Why silence? Aren’t we trying to fight against silence?

A silent demonstration can be a peaceful way to bring urgent attention to an important issue. Silence as a method of organizing is much different than silence that is coerced or forced through oppressive bullying, harassment and intimidation. A silent demonstration is active, rather than passive, and causes people to pay attention. Silent demonstrations can:

  • Bring attention to an issue and encourage reflection on the issue;
  • Simulate the how others are silenced;
  • Focus the attention on the issue or cause and not the protester;
  • Demonstrate that the demonstrators desire peaceful resolution;
  • Spark discussion and dialogue.

Through your active silence on the Day of Silence you will send a message that bullying and harassment faced by LGBT and ally youth affects you, your school and community.

And remember, the Day of Silence is a moment to open the conversation on this issue. Follow up your participation with a Breaking the Silence event. You can plan a rally at your school, facilitate a workshop for students and teachers about LGBT issues or throw a party with your GSA or host a discussion group with DOS participants. For more info on how to organize a Breaking the Silence event, check out the Day of Silence Organizing Manual.

March 21, 2011

>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 March 21-25

We’re less than ONE MONTH away from Day of Silence! Now that you know what your DOS event is going to look like, it’s time to let everyone know. Split up outreach tasks among your team members so that you each can contribute to getting the word out.

  • Posters: Design posters to put up around school. Make sure to include the name of your club, the date of the event and contact info so people can get involved. And you can hold a party to design posters as a group.
  • Notify the Press: How do you tell the local news about your event? With a Press Release! It's easy to write a press release. Write a letter that explains the importance of the Day of Silence and include the important details of your event or activities, like the date, time and location. It's also good to incorporate a quote from a student affected by anti-LGBT bullying, a GSA leader or advisor or the school's principal. Send a Press Release to your local newspaper, television and radio news channels.
  • Fundraising: Do you need money for supplies, promotional materials, DOS t-shirts? Begin fundraising by this week. Ask family members, businesses or community organizations for donations. You could plan a raffle or a bake sale.
  • Follow Up: At this point it’s probably good to start having short meetings with your DOS Team every week. Schedule a time where you call can follow-up on your tasks. Can’t meet in person? Set up Yahoo or AIM chat to keep in touch!
  • And don’t forget to schedule a team meeting for next week!

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 info@dayofsilence.org.

And don't forget to join the conversation on the Day of Silence Facebook Page and @DayofSilence on Twitter.

March 16, 2011

>I want to do Day of Silence at my school. Should I talk to teachers or the principal beforehand? How do I get permission from my school?

We recommend that students, GSAs and other student groups try to work with their school to obtain the proper permission to hold Day of Silence activities. Supportive participation has more impact and makes for a more fun Day of Silence for everyone. Talk early with your school’s administration. Offer the organizing materials from DayofSilence.org so they know more about the event. Provide them with your group’s ideas or plan for DOS.

To help you get get permission from your administration, check out these resources:

March 14, 2011

>The Day of Silence, Friday, April 15, is fast approaching and it's time to get organizing! Each week leading up to DOS we will be sending you helpful organizing tips to help you plan and coordinate successful activities. While you don’t need to plan with others, your Day of Silence can be more effective if you do!

Week of March 14-18: Holding Your Meeting
It’s time to get the ball rolling! Plan a meeting with your DOS Team. This could be your GSA or student club, or a group of interested students and your sponsoring faculty member.
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 info@dayofsilence.org.

  • Be prepared: Make an agenda so that your meeting goes smoothly and you accomplish everything necessary to take the next steps. And print out some of the materials referenced in the list below to pass out to the Team members.
  • Brainstorm: What will your event look like? Who will be involved? Will you have a Breaking the Silence event? Discuss with your team all the possibilities for your DOS event. And be creative! Check out DOS on Facebook to see what other students are planning.
  • Decisions: There are a lot of ways to hold a successful Day of Silence, but you can’t do them all! Involve your team in the decision-making process to assure their support as you organize the event.
  • Set Goals: Goals are a great way to determine if your organizing is on the right track. How many people do you want to take a vow of silence? How many cards do you want to pass out? How many people do you want to attend your Breaking the Silence event?
  • Delegate: No one person should do all the work alone. Split up the tasks to make the work easier and to get more people involved.
  • Register: Make sure all the members of your team also register their participation at www.dayofsilence.org.
  • And don’t forget to schedule a Team meeting for next week!


And don't forget to join the conversation on the Day of Silence Facebook Page and @DayofSilence on Twitter.

March 08, 2011

>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 March 8-12

While anyone can participate in the Day of Silence as in individual, if you're planning a bigger activity it helps if you work with a team! We recommend you start planning for your Day of Silence activities at least six weeks before the event if you haven’t already. For this week focus on laying the groundwork for your organizing.

  • Register: CLICK HERE to register your participation in the Day of Silence. If you're already registered, make sure to update your address on www.studentorganizing.org so we can send you free DOS products.
  • Gather Information: Find resources HERE to help you start your planning.
  • Find Support: Discuss your participation with the advisor of your GSA or student club, or another trusted faculty member.
  • Get Permission: Your Day of Silence is likely to be more successful if the school approves of your activities. Research and follow the proper protocol for approving an activity at your school. Ask your supportive staff member to help. Check out the Day of Silence Organizing Manual for tips on how to get permission.
  • Build a Team: Find peers who want to contribute. Talk to members of your GSA and/or other allies. Tell them about the Day of Silence and ask if they would be interested in getting involved.
  • Schedule for next week: Make sure to schedule a team meeting with your supportive faculty member and interested students for the upcoming week to keep making progress!

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 info@dayofsilence.org.

And don't forget to join the conversation on the Day of Silence Facebook Page and @DayofSilence on Twitter.

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