May 03, 2013

Using Day of Silence to Create Safer Schools

This post is written by Thomas N, a GLSEN Student Ambassador It’s that time of year again, that’s right, the Day of Silence is just around the corner. What does this mean exactly? It means it’s time for you to bring some swag to your school; it’s time to get creative and pull out those shirt designs, accessories, glitter- you name it. The opportunities you can take with this event are endless. Being a male cheerleader, I used to face a lot of bullying and harassment throughout my community, in and outside of school. You know the old saying, “Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That’s a lie. Words can do so much damage to a person. I know from personal experience that the bullying I faced caused me to silence myself because I was scared of what could happen if I showed my true colors.

I see the Day of Silence as not just an event, but also a day of opportunities; a day to create a change in the community by standing side by side and taking a vow of silence.

The Day of Silence has got to be one of my favorite times of the year because of the endless opportunities that come with it. For me, I see it as a holiday and that’s why I try to get everyone at my school involved. A successful event in the past I’m doing again this year is a Day of Silence art expression contest, where students submit original pieces of art that symbolize the silencing effects bullying and harassment have on LGBT student on a daily basis. Another way to engage a large number of students is to ask participants to wear necklaces with Day of Silence signs attached or order Day of Silence wristbands so teachers know who is participating. It’s a fun, easy and clear way to remind students to stay silent! I truly love the Day of Silence and believe every school should host the event. If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to register your participation at the DayofSilence.org and get some tips on how to get it organized at your school! Thomas, N. Renton, WA GLSEN Student Ambassador

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