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What is the Day of Silence?

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Day of Silence 2010

Day of Silence

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Question: What is the Day of Silence?
The Day of Silence is a national day of activism for LGBT rights. Students in middle school, high school and college take a one-day vow of silence to bring attention to the name-calling, bullying and harassment experienced by LGBT youth. The 2012 Day of Silence will be held on April 20th.
Answer: The Day of Silence was started in 1996 by students at the University of Virginia. More than 150 students participated and in 1997, organizers took the movement national. More than 100 schools participated. Since 2001 Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network has become the official organizational sponsor for the event. Hundreds of thousands of students and teachers now take part in the event. They will be silent for all or part of the day. To bring awareness to why they are being silent, people will hand out the following message. (From the GLSEN website:)

Day of Silence Proclamation:

"Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence, a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies in schools. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by name-callinmg, bullying and harassment. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward fighting these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today. What are you going to do to end the silence?"
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