How To: Participate in National Day of Silence

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The National Day of Silence brings attention to anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Hundreds of thousands of students are silent for an entire day in order to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior. DoSomething.org asked GLSEN, official sponsor of the day, just what students could do to take action.

  1. Get permission. Let your teacher or administration know ahead of time that you'll be leading students in staying silent. If the administration objects, you aren't legally protected to stay silent in class, but you can remain quiet in between classes and at lunch.
  2. Team up with students. You’re going to probably need extra assistance when it comes to launching your Day of Silence. Team up with already-established clubs at your school, such as the Gay-Straight Alliance or your neighborhood Do Something club. If you have neither, recruit your friends and other interested students to help organize the event.
  3. What is the goal? Brainstorm with the organizers of the Day of Silence event to determine what message you’re trying to send to your school. Ask your event group and coordinators the following questions:
  • Will the Day of Silence raise awareness of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment?
  • Will the event make the school safer for LGBT students?
  • How will you make sure the event is executed perfectly?
  • What activities can you do to tie into the Day of Silence?
  • Plan accordingly. Determine when the event will occur. The National Day of Silence is typically in the middle of April, so try to schedule the event for that time frame.
  • Determine how people can participate. There are many ways that fellow students and peers can partake in the Day of Silence. Here are some ideas that you can work with:
    • Wear your support on a shirt, bracelet, button or any other piece of clothing (red is the official color of the Day of Silence).
    • Be silent. Typically people who participate in the event remain silent for the day, whether it is at school or at home. Decide what actions participants want to take to make the biggest impact.
    • Hand out Speaking Cards. A template can be found here.
    • Spread the word online. Talk about your experiences on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Wrap things up. To show how much LGBT issues really matter, wrap up your event with an LGBT rally or open mic night so students and speakers can speak their minds about how they really feel.
  • For more information about Day of Silence, email info@dayofsilence.org.

    Created with the support of the Day of Silence