On GLSEN Day of Silence, Students Stand Up Against Bullying
Friday, April 21, is GLSEN's Day of Silence, a student-led national event organized in thousands of schools, bringing awareness to the silencing effects of anti-LGBTQ name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools.
"My freshman year of high school, I felt silenced. I was bullied and scared, and I didn't know what to do. No one was listening to my voice, and eventually I stopped feeling like I had one at all," said Kian Tortorello-Allen, a member of GLSEN's National Student Council, in the Day of Silence zine. "Seeing people at my school participate in Day of Silence made me feel less alone. It assured me that people within my school were willing to stand up for me when I experienced anti-LGBTQ harassment. Without the Day of Silence, the members of my school's Gender and Sexuality Alliance, and the numerous allies within my school, I wouldn't know I had that support."
Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBTQ behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBTQ students and those perceived to be LGBTQ.
Despite the Trump administration's decision to rescind school guidelines for supporting transgender students, young LGBTQ folks are continuing to organize in their schools and live their lives as authentically as they can. We're here to shed light on this movement and make sure that local elected officials hear the demands for safe and affirming schools that are INCLUSIVE of transgender and gender expansive youth.
Make your voice heard. GLSEN's Day of Silence is culminating in a massive call to action to make sure your governor is pushing for the most comprehensive and inclusive LGBTQ policies in schools.
Your governor has a lot of power in directing the state department of education to issue policies and practices that students need. That's why thousands of Day of Silence participants are mobilizing and sending letters to their governor this year.
Whether you live in a state with good policies or have a governor that has not expressed support for LGBTQ students before, making your voice heard loud and clear is a crucial step to ensuring the continued building of supportive and empowering school environments. Act now!
Send a letter now and ask your governor to issue a statement of support and direct your Department of Education to issue and enforce policies that support trans students. Click here to begin.
GLSEN's Day of Silence is Friday, April 21! Here are ten tips and tricks to help you organize to put an end to anti-LGBTQ bullying in schools!
1. Don't use duct tape to cover your mouth. Opt for a shirt or sign around your neck that visibly shows your support without hurting yourself!
2. Change your phone lock screen to the official Day of Silence statement to show to your teachers, friends, and coworkers over the course of the day why you're being silent.
3. Plan something to break the silence, whether it's a dance, a picnic, or a little after-school meeting to make some joyous noise.
4. Remember you have a right to free speech, and that includes the right not to speak. If you feel your rights are being violated, contact Lambda Legal, and they may be able to help!
5. Partner with a local GLSEN Chapter to host a Breaking the Silence rally.
6. Promote Day of Silence at your school by hanging up posters, distributing flyers, setting up a table at lunch, or even making an announcement over the PA system to get others involved!
7. Sign up for GLSEN UP to stay connected with advocacy actions dedicated to the wellbeing of LGBTQ youth in schools.
8. Make Day of Silence shirts! You can make them on your own, or create custom ones for your school or GSA! Other shirts are also available for purchase.
9. Share the Day of Silence Educator Guide with your teachers and GSA advisors.
10. Use the momentum from Day of Silence to stay involved in LGBTQ student issues. Register your school's GSA to get helpful advice all year long!