May 03, 2013

Check out a featured poem from the “What Does the Day of Silence Mean to You?” call for submissions. This poem was submitted by Ilana K. of Rockville, MD.

 "Silence."

I have never stopped talking Not even for one second Even when I am silent I am speaking so many words So one day a year my silence speaks more Than I ever could out loud   My silence speaks for those who do stop talking Those who are forced to stop talking By a world that can’t accept them for who they are Or who they love Some people who have so much to say Can’t find the voice to say it Not because they don’t want to But because other people won’t let them   Why is it that in this time With a black president Two women can’t get married in 42 states Transgender individuals can get fired People are discriminated against For things they can’t change They can’t make the change if they can’t find their voice And they can’t find their voice if people won’t let them   Even if they find their voice There is no change that will happen Unless people are willing to listen So because I can’t stop talking I put away my voice for a day To bring attention to all the people Who are forced into the silence Not necessarily because they don’t have anything to say But because people won’t listen People won’t listen   Thanks for your submission, Ilana! Have last minute planning to do for the Day of Silence? Visit our resources here, and have an awesome day tomorrow!   Please note, the views expressed in the submission are those of the author, and are not necessarily shared by GLSEN.

May 03, 2013

Check out one of the featured videos from the "What Does the Day of Silence Mean to You?" call for submissions. This video was submitted by Alexander P. of San Diego, CA. Here is what Alexander had to say about his video:

Why I myself am not a member of the LGBT community, I am friends with a lot of people who are. Many of these people are my closest friends and are dear to me. It would hurt me to see them be insulted in ways I've never really been attacked and pressured into the silence the Day of Silence tries to make others aware of. As a student filmmaker, I decided to pick up my camera and share the words of my fellow GSA club members to help bring awareness to the issues of harassment to LGBT youth. Always being a bit "different", I've tended to make the short films and music I create to be a little off and a bit odd. I've always thought weirdness is a virtue. Some people see me as being weird for trying to be nicer to people. But being under the label of LGBT doesn't really make you different, in my opinion it's how you treat people and the world around you that does.

 

"The Day of Silence- 2012 (A Message from CCA GSA)"

Thanks, Alexander and the CCA GSA! What an awesome video!

Check back again tomorrow to see another submission! And don't forget to register your Day of Silence event!

May 03, 2013

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! Have a safe Day of Silence! Don't forget to register you event here and check out the Day of Silence store!

May 03, 2013

Check out another featured poem from the “What Does the Day of Silence Mean to You?” call for submissions. This poem was submitted by Rachel S. from Tucson, AZ.

"Untitled."

My lips are sealed shut I will not speak a word on This Day of Silence.   This is a day to Listen; this is a day to Think; what do you hear?   Do you hear the slurs, The insults of a bully Who picks on the weak?   Or maybe you hear Crying – the near-silent tears Of one who is hurt.   So many people; Their calls for help swallowed up By our own voices.   So today, do not Speak. Listen instead, and see What you now can hear.   Thanks for sharing your amazing poem with us, Rachel! Don't forget to register your Day of Silence event here!   *Please note, the views expressed in this submission are of the author, and are not necessarily shared by GLSEN.

May 03, 2013

Check out another featured essay from the “What Does the Day of Silence Mean to You?” call for submissions. This essay was submitted by Kristin J. of Silverdale, WA. 

What Day of Silence Means to Me

Day of Silence to me is a day where I don’t talk. It’s a day where I can look back at all the times I haven’t been able to speak up, talk out, and express myself. It’s a day where myself and hundreds of other kids can show other people who haven’t been in our footsteps that yes, there are kids out there who can’t speak up. That there are kids out here that harm themselves because they have to keep everything bundled up inside. This day gives me a reason to go to school, gives me the chance to be with hundreds of other teens and even adults trying to change the world for better. I know how it feels to have to sit back and keep everything in and not be able to tell people what’s on my mind because of the way society is. I don’t want to get judged for what I believe in; I just want to be able to go on with my day knowing I am who I am. But it’s not easy if I’m the only one who knows who I am. This day shows people that we are silent for a reason.   Awesome, Kristin! Thanks for sharing your story! Check back tomorrow for more featured submissions! Don't forget to register your Day of Silence event as well! *Please note, the views expressed in the submission are those of the author, and are not necessarily shared by GLSEN.

May 03, 2013

We got so many amazing submissions to the "What Does the Day of Silence Mean to You?" contest. Thank you all who submitted an entry to us! Your bravery, resilience, and determination is inspiring. Thank you all for making the Day of Silence such a tremendous event. Your voices are being heard. We are proud to announce the videos and written submissions that will be featured on the GLSEN Blog! Check back daily until the Day of Silence (4/20) to see the submissions!  

Featured Videos

-Alexander P. from San Diego, CA

-Amanda L. from Syosset, NY

-Arial P. from Hendersonville, TN

Featured Essays

-Rachel S. from Tucson, AZ

-Ilana K. from Rockville, MD

-Kristin J. from Silverdale, WA

Honorable Mentions (Video)

-Jackson G. from Gulfport, MS

-Alexander H. from Christmas, FL

Honorable Mentions (Written)

-Katie B. from Lebanon, IL

-Zachary C. from Pendleton, SC

-Teresa D. from Elmwood Park, IL

-Neal R. from Dauphin, PA

  Congratulations to the featured submissions! We are so thankful that you took the time to share you stories with us. Remember to visit the GLSEN Blog daily to watch and read the entries! Also, today is the last day of order your Day of Silence merchandise.  Make sure you order your materials in time!  

May 03, 2013

Check out the first of the featured videos from the “What Does the Day of Silence Mean to You?” call for submissions. This video was submitted by Arial P. of Hendersonville, TN.

"I love standing up for what is right and helping others." -Arial

"Day of Silence 2012."

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"46","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","height":"254","width":"500","style":""}}]]

Thanks, Arial! What an inspiring message!

Check back again tomorrow to see another submission! And don’t forget to register your Day of Silence event!

May 03, 2013
On the 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. Here are a few activities for college
organizers who want to make K-12 schools safer, healthier and more respectful for LGBT youth.
 

A Safe Space Kit Fundraiser

Give LGBT youth a place to learn free from bullying and harassment. Support GLSEN's Safe Space Campaign to make your former middle and high school and others safe for LGBT students. For every $20 you raise, GLSEN will send a Safe Space Kit to a middle or high school of your choosing! The GLSEN Safe Space Kit is a collection of resources for educators to create a positive
learning environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. It contains a 42-page guide that provides concrete strategies for supporting LGBT students, including how to educate about anti-LGBT bias. It also comes with Safe Space Stickers and Posters that help students identify supportive educators. Learn more at www.safespacekit.com. 

A Demonstration

Organize a silent demonstration on your own campus during Day of Silence. Encourage participants to meet in a common area during a busy time on campus to have more visibility. Handout flyers and hang posters explaining your support of DOS and against anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying, and harassment in K-12 schools!

A Workshop

Develop and host a workshop, before or after Day of Silence, addressing anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying, and harassment in K-12 schools. Invite local high school GSA student organizers and their advisors to attend. For more impact you can start a workshop campaign and tour to local GSA clubs and schools!

A Play

Work with a theatre group on campus to develop a play about stopping bullying. Host a performance on campus around Day of Silence, and invite local K-12 schools to attend. Take your show on the road! Travel to local K-12 schools and perform your play for classes and assemblies.
 

A Campaign

Check the anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies of your school district. Anti-bullying policies may be published in school student handbooks or available on your district's website. Does the policy provide specific protection for sexual orientation and gender identity/ expression? If there is no LGBT inclusive anti-bullying and harassment policy, you can work to change it! Contact local school board members and politicians and explain the issue and why it must be amended. Organize K-12 students to testify at a school board meeting regarding the problem of bullying and explain why specific protections are necessary. GLSEN has tools to help with this advocacy, including a Model District Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy, located here in the Tools for Developing and Implementing a Safe Schools Campaign section.

A Discussion

Facilitate a discussion after Day of Silence; invite middle and high school DOS participants to meet for an discussion about their experiences on DOS. Provide snack and light refreshments to keep it casual.   Thanks for working hard to support K-12 students! Happy organizing!

May 03, 2013

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 Breaking the Silence info sheet.

May 03, 2013

We've been getting lots of questions about using social media on the Day of Silence. Ultimately, it's up to your if you want to engage in social media or not on the Day of Silence! However, we think that using social media is a great way to stay connected and stand in solidarity with other Day of Silence organizers around the country. Social media is also a tool you can use to ask GLSEN for support if you are having trouble with your Day of Silence plans. If you do want to use social media, here are some ways to stay connected!

Facebook

Change your cover photo and profile picture to show your participation in the event! Also "like" the Day of Silence on facebook, and feel free to post about your day with other participants!

fbprofile

Profile Picture

cover

Cover Photo

Twitter

Tweet the Silence

Send your tweets to #DayofSilence and follow us @DayofSilence

Instagram

Tag your photos #DayofSilence

  We are looking forward to hearing from you leading up to the Day of Silence and on the Day! Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions. Don't forget to order your Day of Silence gear by 4/13/12!  And register your Day of Silence event here. Happy organizing, Juliann DiNicola GLSEN Community Initiatives  

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