GLSEN’s Day of Silence Is April 17
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, whose mission is to “ensure that every member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender orientation or gender expression” has been holding a Day of Silence in schools annually since 1996.
Still Need Support In School
Despite the country’s growing acceptance of gay marriage, the President’s recent announcement banning conversion therapy, four out of 5 students are bullied and harassed at school. Did you know that:
• 61.6% of students who did report an incident in their school said that the school staff did nothing in response.
• 55.5% of LGBT students felt unsafe at school because of sexual orientation.
• 68.1% reported avoiding school functions and extracurricular activities because they felt unsafe or comfortable.
Source: GLSEN’s online 2013 Survey
Silence Brings Attention To Important Issue
With over 8,000 K-12 schools participating, LGBT students and their allies, can take a vow of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. GLSEN supplies safe space kits as well as information on how to set up GSAs (Gay-Straight Alliances) to make schools more LGBT-friendly.
However, if your school is experiencing resistance to GLSEN’s Day of Silence by the Administration or Faculty not allowing the organization of activities for the day, you can report your school by clicking on a site at http://www.dayofsilence.org. to get assistance. Lamda Legal also has developed an FAQ detailing students’ rights to participate in the Day of Silence activities. See http://www.lambdalegal.org/news/us_20140411_day of silence.
Even if your school has no planned support for the yearly GLSEN-sponsored Day of Silence, it’s not too late to print DOS stickers, in both red or black, for example, from Pinterest. (http://www.pinterest.com/GLSENofficial/day-of-silence/ to stand in solidarity for LGBT inclusion.
Silence Can Be Golden
What will you do tomorrow to protest the LGBT bullying and harassment in your school and your community? It’s not too late! For beginners, you can be quiet. Silence can be more powerful than words!
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.