April 05, 2010

>Week 2 (April 5-9): Ramp It Up!
Day of Silence is almost here! It’s time to pump up the excitement and to make sure everyone is prepared!

  • 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 (Warning: PDF).
  • 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 your LAST 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.

April 01, 2010

>We at GLSEN get a lot of questions about Day of Silence. Each week leading up to DOS we'll post the answer to a common question about organizing and participating in a Day of Silence event.

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 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 them. 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.

If you have any other 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 29, 2010

>Not only is addressing anti-LGBT bullying and harassment the right thing to do, failing to do so can also be very costly for school districts.

In yet another favorable outcome for a student who sued a district for failing to address bullying based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, a gay student from New York has reached a settlement with Mohawk Central School District in federal court.

Jacob is now 15 and says school officials did virtually nothing to stop bullies who picked on him because he acted differently from other boys.

Under the settlement, the district agreed to implement changes to protect students
from harassment and to pay $50,000 to Jacob's family.

Such judicial outcomes have become the norm rather than the exception. GLSEN and The National Center for Lesbian Rights put together an extensive list a few years ago of court cases where the student won or a settlement was reached: Fifteen Expensive Reasons Why Safe Schools Legislation is in Your State's Best Interest.

March 29, 2010

>Order customized T-shirts here.

What's the best part of Day of Silence? Raising awareness about anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools, and encouraging others to take a stand for equality with you.

What's the second best part of Day of Silence? Fighting anti-LGBT discrimination and looking snazzy at the same time, of course!

Students, educators and supporters can order their Day of Silence t-shirts--and if they want to, customize the shirts to feature the name of their school, Gay-Straight Alliance or other student club. But, be sure to order them soon, so they reach you before the Day of Silence on April 16! The last day to order customized shirts is March 31 (this Wednesday).

The t-shirts are produced and sold by our friends at Nightsweats and T-Cells, a design and printing company in Cleveland, Ohio. Not only are they fantastic longtime supporters of the Day of Silence, but they do lots of great work raising awareness about LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS through clothing and other custom-made materials.

So, to recap: if you order Day of Silence t-shirts for you and your peers, you'll help to spread the message about the Day of Silence in your school and community, you'll be supporting an LGBT-friendly and socially aware company, and you'll look (even more) awesome on the Day of Silence. That's a win-win-win situation!

Just in case you missed it, the link to the t-shirt order form is here.

Don't forget--those who register for the Day of Silence online can receive free organizing and promotional materials, such as Day of Silence buttons, wristbands, stickers and message cards. (However, if you're so excited to get these items that you just can't wait, they're all available on the GLSEN online store!)

March 29, 2010

>Week 3 (March 29-April 2): Grow your Support
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 30 local GLSEN Chapters across the country. Click here to find out if one is 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 29, 2010

>Order customized T-shirts here.

What's the best part of Day of Silence? Raising awareness about anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools, and encouraging others to take a stand for equality with you.

What's the second best part of Day of Silence? Fighting anti-LGBT discrimination and looking snazzy at the same time, of course!

Students, educators and supporters can order their Day of Silence t-shirts--and if they want to, customize the shirts to feature the name of their school, Gay-Straight Alliance or other student club. But, be sure to order them soon, so they reach you before the Day of Silence on April 16! The last day to order customized shirts is March 31 (this Wednesday).

The t-shirts are produced and sold by our friends at Nightsweats and T-Cells, a design and printing company in Cleveland, Ohio. Not only are they fantastic longtime supporters of the Day of Silence, but they do lots of great work raising awareness about LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS through clothing and other custom-made materials.

So, to recap: if you order Day of Silence t-shirts for you and your peers, you'll help to spread the message about the Day of Silence in your school and community, you'll be supporting an LGBT-friendly and socially aware company, and you'll look (even more) awesome on the Day of Silence. That's a win-win-win situation!

Just in case you missed it, the link to the t-shirt order form is here.

Don't forget--those who register for the Day of Silence online can receive free organizing and promotional materials, such as Day of Silence buttons, wristbands, stickers and message cards. (However, if you're so excited to get these items that you just can't wait, they're all available on the GLSEN online store!)

March 25, 2010

>We at GLSEN get a lot of questions about Day of Silence. Each week leading up to DOS we'll post the answer to a common question about organizing and participating in a Day of Silence event.

Why silence? Aren’t we trying to fight against silence?
A silent protest 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 protest 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 protestor;
  • 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, throw a party with your GSA or host a discussion group with DOS participants—the sky’s the limit!

March 22, 2010

>Week 4 (March 22-26): Spread the Word

We’re only 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! Send a Press Release to your local newspaper, television and radio news channels. Check out the sample Press Release in the Day of Silence Organizing Manual to help.
  • 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 21, 2010

>Great quote from Ewan McGregor regarding his new movie with Jim Carrey, I Love You Phillip Morris. McGregor and Carrey portray two men falling in love.

It is a reflection I guess on where we’re at that it’s such a big deal that it’s a love story between two gay men, like the idea of two men being in love is slightly shocking or almost taboo, it’s beyond me.
March 19, 2010

>As you may know, Constance is headed to DC this weekend to attend GLSEN's Safe Schools Advocacy Summit, where she'll meet with Student Non-Discrimination Act sponsor Rep. Jared Polis from Colorado.

Our friends at the American Civil Liberties Union LGBT Project (ACLU is representing Constance in her case to have prom reinstated) have set up a weekend action for people to show their support for Constance and the other students and community leaders attending SSAS.

Pages

Find Your Chapter