Day of Silence speaks volumes about tolerance

Day of Silence speaks volumes about tolerance

Beyond this banner, daily announcements this week from students and staff helped to promote the Day of Silence.

Brenden Kaminski, Staff Reporter

Last year, when I got to school, I saw kids wearing stickers that said “I support the Day of Silence.”  I tried asking them what it meant, but they wouldn’t tell me, obviously because they were being silent like the day implies.

Later that day, someone slapped a sticker on my chest and I also stayed quiet. But no one that day actually told me why there was a Day of Silence, why it mattered.  I didn’t know any of it, but I took part in it, and I thought it was a great idea. This year there have been morning announcements talking about the Day of Silence which I think has taught a lot of people about it.

The tradition of the Day of Silence started in 1993.  Two students that had been homosexual dropped out of school.  They had been bullied in school about their sexual preference, and in turn they filed a lawsuit against RB.  While RB ended up settling out of court with the students, part of the settlement had to do with teachers having to be taught how to identify bullying and how to deal with it.

A few years later the club GSA was started.  Many RB students know about GSA or Gay-Straight Alliance which is a club that supports L.G.B.T. (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans-gender) students.  When the club started, they also started to participate in the Day of Silence, a nationally recognized dedicated to stopping bullying towards L.G.B.T. students.  With rare interruption, they have been doing it ever since.

The Day of Silence is also to emphasize the day to bring attention to the many students who are bullied but the bullying often goes unreported. You can hear terms in the hallways around RB all the time.  Two friends might be messing around and one calls the other gay. It happens every day, but if there is a kid that isn’t open about their sexuality and they hear that, they can become offended.  The person saying it might not be aware that they are hurting someone when they really are.

I strongly believe that the Day of Silence is a great idea. I get that some people don’t like it, that’s it’s not part of their beliefs, but I think that for one day they can put their beliefs aside and focus on the bullying that goes on towards students in general. That one day, no matter what people think about it, can make a difference.

The Day of Silence is a great way to spread awareness about bullying that goes on towards L.G.B.T students and a lot of people do take part of it and I encourage that.

And for anyone who really enjoys the Day of Silence and wants to help more, you could always join GSA, or talk to anyone who is gay, or lesbian, or bi-sexual, or trans-gender and get to know them a little more, be friendly and accepting to help make a better school.