>GLSEN's Executive Director Eliza Byard has spoken with the family of Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, the 11-year-old boy who took his own life Monday after enduring constant bullying, including daily anti-gay language, at school. Carl did not identify as gay.
Read GLSEN's initial press release about the bullying and suicide here.
Eliza's message to Day of Silence supporters:
I want you to know that I have been in contact with the Walker family regarding the suicide of 11-year-old Carl Walker-Hoover this past Monday. I have extended sincere condolences to the family on behalf of the entire GLSEN network, explained our mission to end bullying and harassment of all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender expression, and asked for – and received – Carl’s mother’s permission to talk about Carl’s story in the context of the Day of Silence next week. The Day of Silence will fall on what would have been Carl’s 12th birthday. On the most recent call, a family member said, “Even though this event is on Carl’s birthday, we believe it is important that his story be told. Whether or not a student is gay this language should not be used to insult others.” I have expressed to the family GLSEN’s collective resolve to do all in our power to heed his mother’s call to action and ensure that in the future no more students suffer as Carl did.
>Check out the movie "Pedro" tonight at 8 p.m. on MTV and LOGO. "Pedro" tells the story of Pedro Zamora, a gay activist who was a member of "The Real World: San Francisco." He died of AIDS-related causes the day after the last episode aired in 1994.
>Sadly, this is not an April Fool's joke, but it is one of those things you have to see to believe.
A columnist for World Net Daily compared GLSEN, the Day of Silence and GSAs to Hitler Youth. All because we believe that every student has a right to be safe in school and get an education free of bullying and harassment.
>The Los Angeles Times reported today on yet another tragedy in California, this time the sad story of a 14-year-old boy who shot himself at school because of constant torment and bullying.
How many more stories like this do we have to read before schools and policy makers make a definitive commitment to address this problem?
Tall, awkward and dealing with a learning disability, 14-year-old Jeremiah Lasater was a target of frequent taunts by schoolyard bullies at Vasquez High School in Acton, students said Tuesday.
Even the classroom wasn't always safe for the 6-foot-5 teen, who in middle school was poked and teased by some of his fellow special needs students, according to a former teacher.
Monday was no different. At least two boys threw food at Lasater during lunch, two students said.
Then, as lunch was ending and other students scurried to fifth-period classes, Lasater headed to a boy's bathroom and locked himself inside a stall. He pulled out a weapon and shot himself in the head.
Stars and Stripes published a wonderful piece about the new Gay-Straight Alliance at a military base in Japan. The military, as you might expect, is typically socially conservative. So the GSA's formation was not welcomed by everyone. And yet, as the advisor put it, “I don’t think another school club has done so much in such a short time.”
Most recently, GSA spearheaded Edgren’s participation in Friday’s “National Day of Silence,” a movement started at the University of Virginia in 1996 to prevent bullying in schools. This year the event was dedicated to Lawrence King, a California middle school student who was shot and killed in February, allegedly because he was gay.
At Edgren the event drew participation beyond the GSA circle, with about 30 students wearing T-shirts and toting white boards or pen and pad to communicate in classrooms and hallways.
“Ethnic, religious, sexual differences is no reason to single someone out and treat them differently,” Heather Steele, a senior and National Honors Society member, jotted in a notebook.
Senior Norah Sweeney, a GSA member, said the idea was floated to change the name to “tolerance club,” but then “we’d kind of be hiding behind the name.”
“The name will never change,” says Kuntz. “There’s no reason to change this name. We’re very proud of who we are.”
>Just because the Day of Silence is coming to an end for most students doesn't mean you still can't register, even after the fact. If you haven't registered, please do so here.
We use registrations to get a gauge for how much participation there was across the country. Students from a record 7,500 schools have now registered. And if someone from your school already has registered, we still like to keep track of all participation.
Thanks again for your courage today. Together, we are changing the world for the better and making schools safer for everyone.
>Be our friend/fan/member/etc at any of the various social networking sites:
Official Day of Silence page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Day-of-Silence/10621862898
Remembering Lawrence King group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8088192263
Official Day of Silence page: http://www.myspace.com/dayofsilence
Remembering Lawrence King page: http://www.myspace.com/rememberinglawrence
Students at the school held their Day of Silence on Thursday because of a conflict today. T.R. joined GLSEN Executive Director Kevin Jennings at the event.
>Lance Bass has again pledged his support for Day of Silence participants, this time on his MySpace blog:
GLSEN’s Day of Silence - April 25th - Please Read
Dear Day of Silence participants,
I am thinking of you all today as you remain silent to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. This year's Day of Silence is especially important as we remember Lawrence King, who was tragically killed just a short time ago.
The work each and every one of you is doing is so important to ensuring safe schools for all students. I am very proud to have played a part in this year's Day of Silence and to join you and the hundreds of thousands of students across America for this important action and dedication. Together, we can put an end to the silence!
On behalf of GLSEN, I thank you for your participation.
My name is anonymous. I go to [Removed] High School and I ran a huge motion at my school today. I and the rest of the student body enjoyed a nice day at our annual performing arts festival. Here's what happened at the festival, my G.S.A club and I put our heads together and got a table at the festival just for Day Of Silence. We had over half the student body walk up to our "Booth" and say "Where do I sign my name?" and "Sign me up!" We had packets of information and we had about fifty copies to start with, but we had to make more copies through out the day. We had four books of GLSEN's speaking cards and we had to print off more from the website. Everyone wanted to take action and I had friends of mine say that they are being as silent as they can just for me! They have seen and heard my G.S.A and I talk about our haters and wish they could stop it immediately. The student body has stated that we are doing this for a good cause and will do whatever it takes to stop LBGTQ hate crimes.