April 15, 2010

>Today is the National Day of Silence! We at GLSEN are so excited and we hope you are too. Thank you for taking a stand to end anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. You're making a difference for your school, community and for the world!

Here are a few things you might need in one easy place:

Legal Help

Resources

Day of Silence Contact Info

Have an amazing Day of Silence!

April 15, 2010

>
Last year, just a few days before the Day of Silence, actor Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) challenged Twitter users to make him the first person to get one million followers. He was trying to beat out CNN (@cnn)– each had over 900,000 people following them. Around 1:00am on the Day of Silence Kutcher got to the million mark ahead of CNN. As luck would have it, that Friday was also the day Oprah (@oprah) had planned to do her first tweet.

Wow, tough competition! And to make it even harder, Oprah had Kutcher as a guest on her show and they tweeted together. Darn.

So what happened? Well, by the midday on DOS last April 17th the rankings were, Oprah #1, Kutcher #2 and Day of Silence #3.

See the screenshot:

By the end of the day, the official Follow Friday ranking was Kutcher #1, Oprah #2 and Day of Silence held strong at #3!

This year we want to be Number 1!
To do that we are asking all our Twitter followers to ENDORSE the Day of Silence on that day. Here’s how:

Endorse DOS for Follow Friday
In your tweets on Friday, April 16th use the hashtag #followfriday (or #ff) and then @dayofsilence plus your message, like this:

EXAMPLE: #followfriday @dayofsilence is today! Support LGBT students. Help end bullying in school.

EXAMPLE: #ff @dayofsilence Hundreds of thousands of students are taking a vow of silence today. Find out more http://www.dayofsilence.org

EXAMPLE: #followfriday @dayofsilence Support the Safe Schools Improvement Act!

Use this combination of tags (#followfriday @dayofsilence) for your first tweet of the day to register your endorsement. Remember, WAIT until Friday (any time after midnight Central Time) otherwise it won’t count in the statistics for Follow Friday.

April 15, 2010

>Tomorrow is going to be the biggest National Day of Silence ever, with hundreds of thousands of students participating across the US and around the world. Here are a few tips and resources as you prepare to take part in the 15th Day of Silence:

  • MAKE SURE TO REGISTER your participation in the Day of Silence so we can have an accurate number of how many people participated. Click here to register!
  • Tweet the Silence! Tweet about your experience during the Day of Silence to help spread the word. And don’t forget the #dayofsilence hash tag! More info here.
  • Know your rights during the Day of Silence with this helpful document from Lambda Legal: Click here to download. If you encounter resistance or feel your rights are being denied, please contact the Lambda Legal Help Desk at 212-809-8585 or 866-542-8336.
  • Check out these 8 Tips for Facing Opposition on the Day of Silence Blog. Be prepared to have a safe, effective and fun Day of Silence!
  • Don’t have anything planned? You can still participate with these Tips for the Last-Minute Organizer. Click here to download.
  • Print materials like speaking cards, stickers and other resources from the templates, look here.
  • Take Action! Contact your Congressperson now or as soon as you break your silence and ask them sign on as a cosponsor of the National Day of Silence Resolution. Or thank your representative if they are already a cosponsor. More info here.
If you have any questions or concerns on the Day of Silence, please contact us.
Email: info@dayofsilence.org
Twitter: @dayofsilence
Facebook: tinyurl.com/DoS-Facebook
Phone: 212-727-0135
April 15, 2010

>On Wednesday, we at GLSEN had a special visit from Isis King, superstar model from the 11th cycle of America's Next Top Model! Isis King is a trans woman and cares a lot about the issue of bullying. She stopped by to talk thank all the organizers working hard to support the Day of Silence. Watch her video below.

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April 15, 2010

>The Day of Silence is almost here! For today's Student Voices column, Arny, from Lodi, New Jersey, explains how he and fellow students view the Day of Silence as a way to address the particular hurdles that LGBT students of color face, and how students can participate in the Day of Silence to raise awareness about biased-based discrimination and violence of many different kinds. Thanks, Arny!

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The National Day of Silence is an event with the purpose of calling attention to bullying and harassment towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students (LGBTQ) and their allies. However, this silent protest has a wider scope.

What is the Day of Silence like for a gay student of color?

For many LGBTQ students of color, homosexuality remains a forbidden taboo. For others, it may be a great disappointment or dishonor to the family. Add to this constant teasing for being Asian, or Latino, or African American etc. in schools, and it’s an unbearable pain to withstand. The Day of Silence only helps highlight the additional silent suffering of LGBTQ students of color.

In my school the Day of Silence was mostly dominated by students of color. The majority of us rebelling from traditional values, ignorant peers, and a society that shuns us for who we are whether it be based on race or sexual orientation. I believe that the Day of Silence only becomes even more personally meaningful to students of color because we must endure bullying from another side of the spectrum. A student’s skin color, religion, class, disability, and sexual orientation and gender identity are all reasons for bullying and the Day of Silence helps shed light upon the mistreatment, bullying and harassment each student, who suffers this torment, endures in order to attend school.

April 14, 2010

>Tweet, not speak
On the Day of Silence tweet about DOS as much as you can.

Important: If you are a student in middle or high school, make sure you only tweet during times that your school permits. Tweet in the morning before school starts, at lunch (if allowed), and especially after school.

If you can’t tweet any other time, plan to tweet within one hour after classes end. We hope that will create a rolling, growing Twitter movement from the East to the West coast as schools close for the day. Students in Alaska and Hawaii, join in when you can. And if you live outside the U.S. you can be a part too.

Tweet topics
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. Basically, if it has to do with DOS, tweet it on Friday.

Tagging your tweets
IMPORTANT: Always mention DOS (@dayofsilence) by using the “@” or “#” tags. And ask your friends to retweet (RT) you.

Tweet chat
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.

Buttons
We have Tweet the Silence! web buttons for your web site. To get one, click here.

And don't miss FollowFriday! CLICK HERE to learn what Oprah, Ashton Kutcher and the Day of Silence have in common!

April 14, 2010

>As you’ve all seen, there are some groups and some individuals out there who are doing all they can to detract from the purpose of the Day of Silence. Some of these groups are encouraging parents to pull students out of school, organizing events to counter the Day of Silence, or protesting schools and community centers hosting Day of Silence activities. Some individuals have been visiting the Day of Silence pages on Facebook and elsewhere to share hateful comments.

Here are a couple of tips for you if you find yourself facing this type of opposition during your Day of Silence organizing:

  1. Stay cool: It’s difficult to be challenged, and some that oppose the Day of Silence may say hurtful things. Relax. Breathe. Remember that you’re participating in DOS to make a difference, not to start fights.
  2. Step away: The Day of Silence is about starting conversations, but often those strongly opposing DOS are not truly interested in genuine conversation. Some are only interested in provoking you. In these cases it’s best to walk away and not respond. Don’t let anyone detract from the purpose!
  3. 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. Treat people who oppose the DOS 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!
  4. Share The Four Truths: Often people make decisions about the Day of Silence without getting accurate information about the action. This document highlights four often misunderstood elements of the Day of Silence. Print it out and provide it to those who may be confused as to what DOS is for.
  5. Report it: If there are people who are bullying or harassing you as part of their opposition, you should report it—to school officials, online authorities, your parents—immediately. In school, make sure to notify a supportive staff member, and ask for their assistance as you follow up on the status of your report.
  6. Share your story: Stay connected with other organizers about your experience. Talk to your student club or tell your story on the Facebook Day of Silence Page and Twitter.
  7. Contact us: If you experience extreme amounts of opposition, face bullying and harassment, or feel your rights have been violated, please contact us at info@dayofsilence.org and let us know right away! We can put you in touch with the appropriate legal support.
  8. Spread the word: Share this post with other organizers so that we can all work together to focus our attention on the things that matter to make change.

We hope you have an effective, safe, and fun Day of Silence!

April 14, 2010

>The Day of Silence is only 2 days away! For today's entry, we have Audri, a student from Laurel, Mississippi. Audri recently attended GLSEN's Safe Schools Advocacy Summit, an annual event in Washington D.C. that trains student and adult advocates from across the country to better push for safe schools policies, and allows them to meet with their Congresspeople on Capitol Hill. Thanks, Audri!

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I am Audri and I am a 15 year old out lesbian in Laurel, Mississippi. I was never silenced about being a lesbian, but I was bullied because of it. I was the only out LGBT person in middle school, and had a very masculine appearance. Many kids loved to taunt me because of that. I was called names, pushed around in the halls and bathroom, and people tried to trip me when I walked by. I knew that if I sought help from the school administration nothing would get solved. Not only would it not get solved, but it wasn't just students who bullied and harassed me. Teachers did as well.

There were times where I took matters into my own hands, and I was the one who got in trouble for that. Whether it was because I got in a fight because someone tried to trip me, or getting in an argument with a teacher because she treated me differently from everyone else in class I was the one in trouble. I felt that I was not a person to them. They didn't care to help me. My principal did help many ways, but even if I went to him about my bullying it would have only gotten worse. We didn't have a way to deal with kids being bullied. Because I was silenced about my bullying I was skipping school at least once or twice a week. I was constantly in the office and, couldn't get my work done in class. As a result of that my grades kept getting worse. I had gotten to the point where one day I just refused to go. That was towards the end of the school year of my eighth grade year. My mom withdrew me out of school that day.

Even though I am home schooled now I still celebrate Day of Silence. I feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself. Even though I am home schooled, and it is to just myself. I know that I am not alone in this. That I stand with thousands of kids all around the country that are supporting change in this movement as well. The Day of Silence is because of what I went through, and I want to be a part of that change. Even if it is just for me.

April 13, 2010

>We encourage each person to participate in the way they are most comfortable. Some will be silent all day long. Others will hold a silent lunch. Still others will be vocal supporters. The key is that you call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.

During the Day of Silence many will be communicating online to show their support of the Day of Silence. It’s definitely okay to use Facebook, Twitter, texting and other forms of online communication during the Day of Silence, especially if you're spreading the word about DOS!

Also, on Friday we'll be Tweeting the Silence all day, so be sure to follow @DayofSilence on Twitter and tweet using the #dayofsilence hashtag. Stay tuned for more details!

April 13, 2010

>Day of Silence is around the corner! Maybe you haven’t had an opportunity to organize, or perhaps your school won’t support your participation. Don’t worry, there are still lots of things you can do to participate in the Day of Silence! Download Tips for the Last- Minute Organizer for seven suggestions of how you can still support the Day of Silence with little time or school support. Go to the Get Ready! section of the Day of Silence website for this and more resources to help you with your DOS organizing!

And remember, if you have any questions, please email us at info@dayofsilence.org.

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