Monday, March 31, 2014

Preparing for Day of Silence 2014

I am not sure how many high school or middle school students stop by "Oh, By The Way," but if you are a student, please consider joining the Day of Silence on April 11th, 2014. And if you are an adult who knows a teen, especially a gay teen, who might benefit from this, please pass it along. The event is also observed on college campuses.

The Day of Silence started eighteen years ago as a way to protest bullying, harassment, and attacks on LGBT students in schools. In recent years, the destructive Radical Christian Agenda has attempted to thwart or stop this student outreach, essentially claiming that it is their religious right to harass, harm, and attack human beings for being gay. Because of this, it is even more important to counteract such hurtful, hateful, backward beliefs. A religious freedom is a personal choice, not a ticket to ostracize, punish, intimidate, shame, or attack (mentally, psychologically, socially, verbally, OR physically) another person.

According to the GLSEN website's FAQ section about the Day of Silence, "GLSEN’s 2009 National School Climate Survey found that nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school and more than 30% report missing at least a day of school in the past month out of fear for their personal safety. Moreover, two of the top three reasons students said their peers were most often bullied at school were actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender expression, according to From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America, a 2005 report by GLSEN and Harris Interactive. Thus, the Day of Silence helps bring us closer to making anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and name-calling unacceptable in America’s schools."

I am posting this ahead of the date so there is time to plan. To organize a Day of Silence in a school or to learn how to participate, please visit the GLSEN website linked below. If you register your participation at the site, GLSEN gets an accurate count of how many people support the event itself.

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