Every April, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), a U.S.-based education organization whose mission is to end LGBTQ+ discrimination in K-12 schools, holds its DAY OF SILENCE. This year, the DOS will be held on its twenty-fifth anniversary, Friday, April 24, 2020.
A Day of Silence may seem like the antithesis of what schools need to combat harassment of LGBTQ students in schools. You would think that students and their allies would want to stand on their schools’ roofs with megahorns to get their important message across, but this thoughtful day designed to end bullying based on sexual orientation, gender expression as well as sexual expression, is an effective protest against the devastating effects of harmful slurs and discrimination.
Although schools throughout the world are closed, GLSEN is planning on holding a VIRTUAL Day of Silence this year. Led by students, this silent rally will evolve into talk by the end of the day when the silence is broken.
Here’s how it works:
- Your register on-line at https://www.glsen.org/day-of-silence
- There are graphics with tips on how to organize an online event on the Glsen site. Topics covered include:
- Picking a time.
- Creating a schedule.
- Who’s your MC?
- Book the talent.
- Select a moment when you’re silent and then break the silence.
- Wrap up your event.
- There is an Educator Guide for teachers and school professionals.
- There is a Virtual Planning Guide with a Social Media Campaign. Some suggestions include:
- Post your own virtual photo and get others to post theirs.
- There are lessons and activities for students and allies to help support GLSEN’s efforts.
You have slightly over a week (April 24, 2020) to get started on this chain event. Remember that Silence Can Speak Volumes!
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.