May 03, 2013

Day of Silence: Tips for College Organizers

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!

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