Grant Patterson | Clubs Editor
There is no talking here. This is not a test or exam. Today, April 27, is the GLSEN’s (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network’s) annual Day of Silence. It is a day where several students have sworn to not say a word to raise awareness of bullying against the LGBTQ community.
Sophomore Jeanna Nunnally, who said she has experienced bullying, is the student in charge of the movement within the school.
“The Day of Silence is the GLSEN’s annual day of action to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) students,” Nunnally said. “We did Day of Silence last year, and it was a complete success.”
Teacher Rachel Tonte, who sponsors He, She and Me Club, said the Day of Silence protests harassment, discrimination and hate.
“Day of Silence is a student-led national event where folks take a vow of silence to highlight the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ people at school,” Tonte said.
The whole idea behind the Day of Silence is that silence speaks louder than words.
“The action is fairly simple, you are just silent for a whole day,” Nunnally said. “I believe we all have a right to be heard because silence is loud!”
Club members hope students will respect those who choose to participate.
“Students who are not participating need to know that if a fellow classmate is participating, then they should be respectful and do their best to avoid intentionally placing that individual into situations that would pressure them to talk,” Tonte said. “But most importantly, after this day is over, students should take advantage of the opportunity to open a dialogue with that participating student to find out more about why they participated in this event.”
Teachers received an email regarding the day’s activities and were asked to avoid requiring students to speak in class if possible.
If a student wishes to participate, they should see Tonte for a pass.
“If a student wishes to participate, then that students simply needs to stop by my room (209 in the English hallway) at any point today, and I will provide that student with the necessary supplies. This day is open to all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identification,” Tonte said.