Today is the Day of Silence, a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence to encourage administrators and their classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in their schools.
A 2009 survey by GLSEN found that nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school and more than 30 percent have missed at least a day of school in the past month out of fear for their personal safety. Two of the top three reasons students said their peers were bullied because of actual or perceived sexual orientation, and the point of Day of Silence is to use the power of silence to make anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and name-calling unacceptable in America’s schools.
Of course, the recent cyber bullying trial of former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi, who was found guilty of hate crimes and invasion of privacy on March 16 for broadcasting a consensual sexual encounter between his roommate Tyler Clementi and another man leading to Clementi’s suicide, sparked a national debate about LGBT bullying and how to most effective combat it. The Day of Silence is a way for LGBT advocates to take a stand without saying a word.
So if you are able, take the vow today and for more information on the Day of Silence, visit dayofsilence.org.