We congratulate all of you for participating in the 13th Annual National Day of Silence! Your silence spoke volumes by calling attention to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. Awareness activities like the DOS can help make schools safer. Now it's time to learn from your event and the experiences of other organizers. Please let us know how it went for you by commenting on this blog post.
Here is a sample of a story from last year’s DOS, and questions to help guide your feedback:
A student from Florida reports: I go to a very small school where there are only about 30 kids in the whole high school so it made it a bit more difficult. I got one of my classmates to be a part of it with me. We accomplished a lot on that day because at least we let people know that it’s ok to speak out no matter what sexual orientation you are. My teacher congratulated me on being involving in the Day of Silence.
Guiding questions for submitting a story:
1. Have you participated in the Day of Silence before?
2. What type of school do you go to, small or large, public or private, rural, urban, or suburban?
3. How many people participated or supported your Day of Silence event?
4. Did anything extraordinary happen?
5. Were there supportive teachers?
6. Did you have a Breaking the Silence event?
>How's this for breaking stereotypes?
...a four-year member of the football and baseball teams, and a band member, Kiran is a well-liked out gay student.
Kiran Raghubir was recently given a Moxie Award and a $2000 scholarship from an organization called PFund.
He always put his academics first—as a result, he has been recognized two years running for having the highest GPA of any player on the football team. According to his Admission Possible senior coach, Kiran has a deep knowledge of himself and his identity, and he is masterful when interacting with his peers. Kiran plans to integrate his love of the clarinet and piano with his college career.
- 2009 PFund Scholarship Recipients (PFund Online)
>Disney Channel star Demi Lovato read about Jaheem Herrera's suicide and was personally moved to speak out. Herrera was the second 11-year-old to take his own life this month due to bullying and harassment using anti-gay taunts. Both boys were very young and neither was known to be gay.
Lovato started tweeting about her own experience with being bullied:
"I can't explain what I went through when I left public school to start homeschooling.. One day I will. But right now..."It honestly amazes me how schools refuse to take action in verbal abuse.. they SAY they do, but this what ends up happening. So, so sad.."
>Here's an ABC World News Tonight piece. Don't forget the Kleenex.
Print article from ABC News.
Philadelphia Daily News ran a similar piece about Carl and the Day of Silence
Here's an article from the Huffington Post about bullying. And the author asks, "maybe its time for the adults to start making some noise."
>Once your Day of Silence event is over make sure that you assess how it went. There are a variety of ways to ask people who participated how it went for them, from having a survey, to having a conversation. You can even do both.
Having a conversation allows people to tell their story in detail. Administering a survey allows you to collect quantitative data. The latter can be good for your school administrators. Both options can help you build upon your DOS activities for next year.
Here is a sample Day of Silence evaluation - download PDF here (1 page).
>In honor of the 13th Annual Day of Silence
>Oprah is No. 1, Ashton Kutcher is No. 2 and Day of Silence is No. 3!! And it's only midday.
>Really, I love Twitter. It's fast and informative and fun and I can follow all the issues important to me. These issues, of course, include bullying and harassment in schools, particularly that of LGBT students and allies. But today it's been hard to follow everything!
Today, as you know, is the National Day of Silence, and Twitter has exploded with DOS-related posts. (Click here to follow.) People all across the country and the world are tweeting about anti-LGBT bullying and harassment and are taking a stand by supporting the Day of Silence. Today is also Follow Friday, and Twitterers, Tweeters and Twits alike are endorsing DayofSilence in their posts! Right now DOS is the #3 most endorsed in all of the Twittervese, according to TopFollowFriday.com. Won't you help us climb to to the top? Go to your Twitter account and post #followfriday @dayofsilence and help get us to #1.
And make sure to join our TweetChat today at 3:30 PM Eastern.
It's already an amazing Day of Silence! Keep us in the loop and tell us what you're doing to end LGBT bullying in your school, and keep Tweeting the Silence!
>More details about what led an 11-year-old boy to take his own life in this ESSENCE.com article. Carl Walker-Hoover would have turned 12 tomorrow on the Day of Silence. He didn't identify as gay, and yet he was constantly harassed with anti-LGBT language. It's a tragic reminder of why ALL bullying must stop and why we have to train educators to identify and address anti-LGBT bullying.