Shh! It’s GLSEN’s Annual Day of Silence

Did you know that:

  • 82% of LGBTQ + students experienced 1st hand harassment or bullying in their school.
  • 71% of students reported that their classrooms did NOT include any LGBTQ+topics.
  • More than 30% of LGBTQ + students reported missing school because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable.
  • Over half of all LGBTQ+ students of color experienced in-person victimization based on race/ethnicity.

Those are the very reasons why yearly, the Gay Straight Education Network (Glsen) hosts a Day of Silence for 10,000 schools across the country and world.  The purpose is to spread awareness about the effects of bullying and harassment of LGBTQ students.  This year, the Day of Silence will be April 14, 2023.

Read, Set, Go!

With just two days to go, register either virtually, or a hybrid of both in-person and virtual presence.  Lessons and Activities for preparation of this year’s event can be found on GLSEN’s website.  You will get the latest updates on resources and updates, easily downloadable. You can set up a Zoom, Google Hangout, Skype, invite your GSA as well as others in your school district to join virtually, for example.

Campaign RISE UP

This year’s theme is RISE UP against not only bullying in schools, but the many LGBTQ bills being considered that will erase your rights. The vow of silence that was started at the University of Virginia in the mid-nineties has grown and has many supporters, including the ACLU LGBT & AIDS Project, Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA Network), IT GETS Better Project, The Trevor Project, Lambda Legal, to name a few.  There are educator guides and student guides available from GLSEN.

You may want to use GLSEN’s GSA activities and use one or more to teach others with a pronoun guide, Gender Triangle Education Guide, Inclusive Curriculum guide, LGBT History Cards, and Learning Empowerment and Self-Identification. 

Other possibilities:  Start an Art Wall with your school administration.  Spread the news #DayofSilence by posting your art on your social page and at school.  tag @GLSEN and hashtag#DayofSilence.  Make a zine.  Share the National Council’s zine.  Connect with the closest GLSEN chapter to you and share your Zine.  If you tag@GLSEN and use hashtag#DayofSilence and “Breaking The Silence, you could be featured on GLSEN National Social Media outlets.

There are Break the Silence rally guides, virtual and in-personal guides, Zoom backgrounds.  Glsen’s Instagram will have special guests throughout the afternoon.  You can also get ideas to take action, become an organizer and advocate when you register for your GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance).

On Friday, students will not speak while at school to protest the silencing and cancelling of the LGBT population.  At the end of the school day, students can hold Breaking the Silence rallies and events that share their experiences and draw attention to improvements for inclusivity in their schools and communities.  By helping their LGBTQ children with activities for this important day,  parents can demonstrate that they are also invested in better futures for their kids, not only in schools, but in their communities.

When Your Child is Gay

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.

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist specializing in parenting as well as gay and lesbian content. For the past two years, Wesley has concentrated almost exclusively on the lesbian and gay community, specifically on advising straight parents of gay children on how to be better parents and raise happy, well-adjusted adults

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