The Day of Silence 2023
The Day of Silence is observed on the second Friday in April. It is a day of action in which students across the world take a vow of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender social movements) bullying and harassment in schools. In 2023 the Day of Silence will be observed on Friday, April 14.
It is a student-led initiative, coordinated by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), created to ‘break the silence’ about bullying and discrimination targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) students in all levels of education. Participants stand up against this bullying by taking a pledge to remain silent throughout the day.
The goal of the Day of Silence is not to protest any issues at the school or elsewhere as much as it is to raise awareness of the lasting stigma surrounding LGBTQ people in society. The Day of Silence is to make schools safer for all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
Founded in 1996, the Day of Silence has become the largest single student-led action toward creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The National Day of Silence was first recognized with the ultimate purpose of making schools safer for LGBT kids by bringing awareness to the community.
From the first-ever Day of Silence at the University of Virginia in 1996 to the organizing efforts in more than 8,000 middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities across the country in 2008, its textured history reflects its diversity in both numbers and reach. In the last several years, over 10,000 participants registered with GLSEN. These participants attend middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities. They include students from all 50 states in the U.S.A. as well as students from around the world, including New Zealand, Singapore, and Russia.
Since the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) became the official organizational sponsor of the Day of Silence in 2001 it has reached students from around the world. In 2014 GLSEN reported that there were participants from schools in America, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, and many more in between. The Day of Silence is now one of the largest student-led actions in the United States.
How to observe
Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence 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. You can be a part of various events held on this day to eliminate bullying, and to make schools a supportive and encouraging education. Show your support for the LGBT community on Day of Silence on your social media by using the hashtag #NationalDayofSilence.
The National Day of Silence is a student-led event that brings attention to the name-calling, bullying, and harassment that place at school towards LGBT students and those perceived as LGBT. To learn more about the Day of Silence please visit glsen.org.
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