Campuses all over the country are just a little quieter today as students participate in the National Day of Silence.
The National Day of Silence began in 1996 as a way for students to draw attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. The event has become the largest student-led action towards creating safer schools for everyone -- regardless of gender or orientation.
GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) does an amazing job of helping kids make this event their own. Their Ally Week and No Name-Calling Week are also amazing programs that allow kids and young adults to get involved and manage events that are important to them:
ALLY week was started in 2005 as a way to celebrate student allies who are committed to ensuring safe school environments exist for all.
No Name Calling Week is an annual week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling and bullying of all kinds. It's targeted to kids in grades 5-8.
Our three youngest children are participating in the National Day of Silence at their middle and high schools. TW interviewed them this morning, in the car on the way to school.
Our kids are lucky: They attend schools where it's cooler to participate than to not participate. I wanted to point out to them that they are lucky -- that there are kids who are standing silently alone today.
My kids were quiet in school today. These kids were too. Were yours? Would you support and encourage your children to participate in National Day of Silence? Will you help all of us by talking to your kids about bullying, name calling, and violence against queer kids? If you don't know where to start, the facts would be a good jumping-off point.
- 97% of public school students report regularly hearing homophobic remarks from their peers.
- 80% of LGBT students report suffering from severe social isolation.
- 53% of students report hearing homophobic remarks made from school staff.
- 78% of LGBT students report having experienced physical violence as a result of their sexuality.
- 89% of those students who experience physical violence also attempt suicide.
- LGBT youth represent 37% of all completed teen suicides meaning a gay teen will take his or her life every 3 hours .
~Denise BlogHer Community Manager
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