April 2018 Staff Editorial: Staying silent to raise awareness



SILENCE FOR CHANGE. Those choosing to be silent on Fri., April 27 are empathizing with those who are LGBTQ+ and have lost or do not have a voice due to bullying and harassment. Poor treatment of others is never acceptable, which is important to remember this day and every day. Each of us are unique, making our school and world truly wonderful.

Bullying is that unspoken presence in schools. The question is not if it is in schools but where it is in schools. Bullying can affect anyone, and can specifically affect LGBTQ+ youth because of their identity.

Nearly nine in ten LGBTQ students experience verbal harassment, according to “Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network” (GLSEN). This was the origin point for the Day of Silence (DOS) when it was started by a class project on non-violent protests at the University of Virginia in 1996. DOS is an annual day observed through a vow of silence which spreads awareness about the discrimination and bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and others (LGBTQ+) students.

This year it is held on Fri., April 27.

Whether a student identifies or does not with being LGBTQ+, April 27 is a day for all of us to reflect upon the way these students should be respected.

The point of this day is to recognize the LGBTQ+ students who have been bullied, discriminated against, or even taken their own life in order to send a message that these discriminatory practices will not continue, and that no one condones violence based off of one’s sexual orientation or gender.

Schools should be a place of learning and growing into an adult. Part of this is learning from your peers that any “difference” we have from another peer makes us all unique, helps us grow as a person, and helps shape us into an important members of society.

This DOS calls for students to honor differences and stand up for our community each and every day. It is critical for everyone in the community to realize the silence LGBTQ+ students have felt and feel in order to ensure that they will not feel this way in the future.

By increasing our understanding of the LGBTQ+ community we can reflect socially and grow to honor those LGBTQ+ who have been and are silenced.

Incorporating this knowledge into our everyday lives creates more empathetic, conscious individuals.