April 14, 2010

>Day of Silence Student Voices: Audri (Laurel, MS)

>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.

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