FAHS Students Choose Silence for a Day

Posted on May 13, 2011 by


On April 15th, 2011, a Day of Silence was voluntarily in effect for students who supported the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals. As a reporter who was also participating in this event, I can certify the success of the exercise by the extreme difficulty I had both for undertaking interviews and securing audible responses.

Said sophomore Jes Russo, “It was hard to do, but it was powerful.”

The Day of Silence (DOS) was a day that was designed to show how individuals respond when they are bullied for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or even transgender. For these students, life becomes so unbearable that they even contemplate committing suicide. The lesson of the day was to never bully others because one day you may stop hearing their voices altogether.

Sophomore Katelyn Roberts said, “It felt quieter, and in some cases the message definitely came across.”

Some students at FAHS found this event effective while others did not.

Sophomore Kimberly Santiago said, “It was good to see kids our age try to change our view in society, but it was not a good method to use.”

Sophomore Melissa Danweber agrees: “Don’t be silenced; instead you should speak out. It was a really good idea, but everyone should be participating in DOS. The idea that only some participated while others didn’t made it pointless.”

This event was sponsored by GLSEN—The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. It was a positive educational experience for most, and it was supposed to help improve the atmosphere at school. DOS occurs not only to stop people from bullying LGBT students but to stop bullying straight students as well.

DOS requires that no sound emit from the participants. Since they could not talk, some used white-boards.

Science teacher Erin Follweiler said, “The whiteboard was just as disruptive as people talking. They should have communicated without the use of whiteboards or mouthing words.”

Acclaimed English teacher Zachary Houp agreed with Follweiler, saying, “I think their cause is admirable, and their approach isn’t the kind of reprehensible shock campaign for which PETA is famous. I just wish they would have chosen a method that would not disrupt learning as much.”

Many bystanders failed to understand the meaning of this event, which was to let others feel the pain that LGBT individuals experience.

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