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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day of Silence 04.15-11. What are you going to do to end the silence?

Sponsored by GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, the National Day of Silence is a day of action in which students across the country take some form of a vow of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. Through their activities students can speak out against harassment and organize for change for their schools and communities.

The Day of Silence is a Tool for Change. Organizing a Day of Silence (DOS) activity or event can be a positive tool for change-both personally and community-wide. By taking a vow of silence, you're making a powerful statement about the important issue of anti-LGBT bullying. When you organize others to join you that message becomes louder and louder. You can use this attention as a building block in your plans for larger action. Find out more about the Day of Silence at the links below.

GLSEN is the nation's leading education organization working to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. GLSEN has been the official sponsor of the National Day of Silence since 2001. Learn more at .

Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question? Want to know more? Just check out answers to some common questions about the Day of Silence here.

Your Rights during the Day of Silence
While you DO have a right to participate in the Day of Silence between classes and before and after school, you may NOT have the right to stay silent during instructional time if a teacher requests for you to speak. According to Lambda Legal, "Under the Constitution, public schools must respect students' right to free speech. The right to speak includes the right not to speak, as well as the right to wear buttons or T-shirts expressing support for a cause."

However, this right to free speech doesn't extend to classroom time. "If a teacher tells a student to answer a question during class, the student generally doesn't have a constitutional right to refuse to answer." We remind participants that students who talk with their teachers ahead of time are more likely to be able to remain silent during class.
Check out this document from Lambda Legal for legal questions about the Day of Silence. Lambda Legal also has an online help desk here for more information.

Legal Help: Report It!
If you think your rights are not being respected, or want to report your experience of resistant administration, go to GLSEN and Lambda Legal will review your situation.

Four Truths about the Day of Silence
As the Day of Silence continues to grow, some people have confused the mission and goals of the Action. Clear up any misinformation by reading The Truth about the Day of Silence.

Days of Action Endorsers
These organizations have officially endorsed GLSEN's Days of Action. To become a Days of Action Endorser, please download this letter. (PDF).

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