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April 28, 2008

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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.”

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=54392

 

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.”

April 25, 2008

>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.

April 25, 2008

>Be our friend/fan/member/etc at any of the various social networking sites:

Facebook
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
MySpace
Official Day of Silence page: http://www.myspace.com/dayofsilence
Remembering Lawrence King page: http://www.myspace.com/rememberinglawrence

Think.MTV.com
http://think.mtv.com/GLSEN/

April 25, 2008

>Not all the news is positive, but students remain strong:

MINNESOTA: Hello. My Name is J.A. [name edited] and I attend [school district name].

I learned of the Day of Silence from my best friend T. earlier this week. I wanted to take part in it greatly, and we soon got other kids to join: We were all devoted supporters of the LGBT and wanted to show support by committing to stay silent the whole day.

This Morning, we did Makeup, painted Rainbows and such on our arms and clothes and went to school. We hung signs up on our lockers to spread the word. However, most of these actions were met with sour remarks, and sometimes, Violence. The signs on our lockers were torn off and shredded on the ground before them: We were being harassed by many, sometimes, Even some of our best friends.

We were met with statements such as "Oh my god...I see Faggots." or "Why do you support the Fags." and sometimes worse. One of my best friends was told "Just be like your father and kill yourself; then you can be silent forever." We spent the whole bus ride home comforting her. I am sickened that people in our school used our beliefs as an excuse to make fun of us. I honestly hope that It wont take them long to realize that what they did, is exactly what we are standing against.

We were Harassed, and we were silent. We were met with disheartening actions, but we remained silent. I am proud that I have taken part in this protest, and im positive that all 18 of my other friends were too.

April 25, 2008

>Pam's House Blend has made the DOS blog her "pick of the week". Yay! And of course, she's covering the anti-Day of Silence protest that happened this morning out in Washington State.


Hey Pam, thanks for the links. Here's one back at ya'!
http://www.pamshouseblend.com/

April 25, 2008

> Gay blogger, Pink is the New Blog, has stepped up to add their silence to the Day of Silence. They have been observing a blogging silence all day long. They've posted a DOS Speaking Card and a note that they will resume blogging at 3:00pm (We assume that's Pacific Time.)


We are all amazed at the nationwide (and beyond!) support friends and allies have been demonstrating all day and all week. Thank you so much for your energy. Together we can make 2008 the most bullying-free year on record.
http://www.pinkisthenewblog.com/

April 25, 2008

>From the GSA Talk Listserve:

I am a student at [school name] High School in [city] Wisconsin. Just a freshman trying to get through my first year of high school, which is really hard when you show you support gay pride everyday. There was no school today, so instead of my school doing it today on the specified day, we did it on Wed., our last day of school for this week. Multiple students and I are participating today as well. There were no stickers or shirts or anything like that. It was just the speaking cards that our library had let us copy in school and the message written on our hands.

We were silent the whole day, and at some point our vice principal told us we weren't allowed to because we are a protestant school and don't believe in homosexuality. But we didn't stop. All of us kept on going throughout the whole day. We showed the cards to our teachers, handed them out at school. The response was amazing. There are about 750 Kids in our school. All of us together got at least 150 to take part, mostly freshmen and sophomores. The teachers were very understanding, and proud that we were sticking up for something that we believed in. One of my close friends, who just got outed that he was bisexual, Wore as many gay pride items that he could. I made necklaces for my group, we got rainbow ribbon and wore it all day. The respose in our little protestant school where they teach that being a homosexual is wrong was amazing. There were a lot of people that thought we were crazy, but we kept on going.

I got one of the most anti homosexual kids in my school to take part after explaining this all. In turn that got many more to help out. At the end of the day, everyone was smiling, communicating between notebooks if it was vital and everything else. I have never been more proud of my school. Everyone who had participated had found something rainbow to wear, or had asked someone to draw a rainbow on them. There were a lot of tears to share that day. I had a piece of paper on my shirt that had a list of all of the people my group knew that had die of hate crimes, and everyone felt it. One of which was one of my best friends that died not to long before this for being openly gay. It was an amazing day, and everyone understood.

Thank you for uniting a school.
Thank you for helping people understand.
I am now the freshman who made a difference.

L.M.

April 25, 2008

>The following quotes are excerpts from the AdvisorTalk Listserve:

NEW JERSEY:
Hi All, Here at [school name, city], the reply to our Day of Silence just floored me. Such a positive reaction. We have about 2700 students, and I gave out over a thousand stickers...and the teachers...wow!...so many teachers supported us by wearing "Vocal Supporter" stickers. The silence was deafening throughout school. I made an announcement yesterday and today, and will close with one today. I feel like a proud father, and the kids are walking around so proudly as well! ...and we will also have a 'break the silence' snack at the end of school before the go home! Hope it went as well across the country as it did here. Our administration couldn't have been better.

Jim C.

 

NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA
Greetings Allies: At my school in rural New Brunswick, Canada, we had about 50 kids take part in a silent march through the school. 30 of them we silent for the whole day. We had a screen set up in the cafeteria area and ran power point clips of Lawrence King all lunch hour, especially the one with the R.E.M. track. Powerful.

One student, who has just come out, stood with a poster near our display. Such courage. As I watched him, I noticed a tear roll down his face. I went over and said, "Joy? Relief? " Then a number of kids came up and hugged him and we had a group cry. So, so affirming.

Thanks for holding this event. Things like this touch lives.
Richard B.

April 25, 2008

> We want to welcome all of you streaming in from celebrity blogger Perez Hilton's site. And we want to thank Perez for giving support to the Day of Silence and helping to honor the memory of Lawrence King: A Worthwhile Cause

And it's totally awesome that Perez has his own copies of our Larry (CNN) King PSA posted on his blog. They are really cranking up the page views. Woo Hoo!!

April 24, 2008

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Grey's Anatomy star T.R. Knight showed his support for Day of Silence participants at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex in Los Angeles yesterday.

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.

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