Some students who participated in the Day of Silence at Venice High on April 15 carried around information cards that described why they were silent the whole day. The point of the card was to explain to teachers and excuse the participants from talking and also to show friends the reason why they were silent.
The Day of Silence has annually caught attention, since 1996, all over the world. Students stay silent throughout the school day, or just part of the day, to bring attention to the bullying and discrimination against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual (LGBT) youth and community.
“Every year, my middle school would announce and hand out info cards for those who would want to participate in the Day of Silence, two days before the event,” said sophomore Ana Lopez. “During lunch, the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) would make a small skit for us and there would be music, so it was fun.”
The Day of Silence is a student-led action sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and has been honored by more than 8,000 middle and high schools, colleges and universities in every state and 70 countries from around the world, according to pridesource.com.
In my fifth period class last April 15, a friend of mine who was sitting next to me at the moment, hadn’t said a word for half an hour, which seemed pretty unusual. Then, I remembered the Day of Silence was being celebrated that day, so I asked her if that was why she wasn’t speaking. Then she showed me the info card, which explained a lot as to why she wasn’t speaking. She also wrote for me that another friend of hers had given her the info card.
“I think that there is a lack of representation for the LGBTQA community at school and a lot more can be done to raise awareness for these kinds of events, seeing as there are many students who do fall into these categories,” said my friend, junior Brenda Juarez, later.
Some people, asked about whether people should be more informed about this event, felt like more publicity was necessary. Some students didn’t know about the Day of Silence.
“When I came to Venice, I was surprised that I wasn’t informed on the Day of Silence or anything,” said Lopez. “I feel like it’s very important for the school to promote Day of Silence because more people would be aware of the importance of it.”
A GSA club meets at Venice and promotes LGBTQA issues. It’s open to everyone and meets on Mondays during lunch in Mr. Cristobal Vicente’s classroom, room 204.