>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:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Contact us: If you experience extreme amounts of opposition, face bullying and harassment, or feel your rights have been violated, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know right away! We can put you in touch with the appropriate legal support.
- 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!