Silence speaks louder than words

Alyssa Markowitz ('14)/ Eastside Staff

One day out of the year, students have the chance to raise their voices by keeping silent. On April 19, students nationwide participate in an event that has only thrived since its initial beginnings in the University of Alabama. The Day of Silence, a project sponsored by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network), is a student-led event to bring awareness to the anti-LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) harassment and bullying in our schools. On this day, students take a vow of silence in order to encourage their classmates to stand behind the LGBT movement. In these efforts, students are working towards a vital goal of equality and acceptance throughout their school environment. It is promoted by the GLSEN that schools and students assemble together to strike against any hate formed by sexual expression. GLSEN’s 2009 National School Climate Survey found that nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students reported verbal, sexual or physical harassment in their schools. The Day of Silence is at work in more than 8,000 schools to bring down these numbers. “ANYONE can participate, gay, straight, bisexual, we don’t care! Actually participating in Day of Silence simply entails staying silent for as much of the school day as you can,” says Tess Holtzman (’14), a key coordinator behind the event at East, “East students will be wearing homemade Day of Silence (DOS) apparel to raise awareness for this cause. We will also be selling T-shirts you can buy till the day of (while supplies last), along with DOS duct tape bracelets.” Just by showing support for the cause at East, our students are promoting a healthier environment for all types of individuals. On April 19, our silence will speak louder than words.