Dana over at Mombian reminded me, in one of her posts yesterday, that April 18 is the National Day of Silence. Now jointly supported by The Gay Lesbian Straight Education’ Network (GLSN) and the United States Student Association, the event began in 1996 at the University of Virginia.
The Day of Silence is an annual event held to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and discrimination in schools. Students and teachers nationwide will observe the day in silence to echo the silence that LGBT and ally students face everyday. In it’s 11th year, the Day of Silence is one of the largest student-led actions in the country.
Like to have a serving of statistics to go with your issues? GLSEN released a report in 2005, From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America, which found that
LGBT students are three times as likely as non-LGBT students to say that they do not feel safe at school (22% vs. 7%) and 90% of LGBT students (vs. 62% of non-LGBT teens) have been harassed or assaulted during the past year.
The Day of Silence was founded to raise awareness and fight the causes that lead to the feeling of unease, if not unsafety, that has been with so many LGBT students for their whole education. The remarkable coincidence this year, needless to say, is that whether or not people at their school were organizing around the Day of Silence, students across the country — especially in Virginia — have much to be solemn about.