Observing the national day of silence
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According to the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), nearly nine out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment in American schools each year, while nearly two-thirds of LGBT youth report feeling “unsafe” at school because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Harassed students also had greater tendencies to miss school due to safety concerns and to have lower GPAs. While attending a school with GSA or anti-bullying policies contributes to a more positive experience, less than a quarter of LGBT students reported having the resources to properly combat the issue. The best way to eliminate the problem is to bring about change ourselves.
While its subject matter may be at times grim, Day of Silence is not quite as “negative” as Brian may feel. It celebrates many important things, such as the significance of student demonstrations to further causes, and the use of words — or a lack of words — to combat violence.
In breaking the silence at day’s end, we also demonstrate the importance of discussion and awareness to greater tolerance for all people. The day focuses on what we, as people and communities, can do to make our world a better place.
So I encourage Brian to reconsider his decision, especially as I suspect that, secretly, he simply cannot stay quiet for an entire day.