Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and ally (LGBTQA) students will join together today for GLSEN’s 18th annual National Day of Silence. Metro DC PFLAG is proud to support this annual effort to call attention to the “silencing” effect of anti-LGBT bullying, bias and discrimination.
The National Day of Silence is a day when students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. According to the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) 2009 National School Climate Survey, 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.
The first Day of Silence was organized by students at the University of Virginia in 1996. They were inspired by a class assignment on non-violent protests, and over 150 students participated. In 1997, the Day of Silence went national, with nearly 100 colleges and universities participating. In 2001, GLSEN became the official organizational sponsor for the event, as the event has spread to high schools and junior highs.
The Day of Silence web site has important information and resources for those who are participating, and Lambda Legal has put together a pamphlet detailing a student’s legal rights in connection with your participation in the observance. Anti-gay activists have been very busy putting out tons of misinformation about the observance. You can find out the truth behind the misinformation here.
We stand behind and united with all the students in our area who are participating today.
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