On April 11, 2014, there will be a nation-wide movement called “Day of Silence“. The Day of Silence was created to show solidarity with all LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgendered) students who because of fear of ostracism and bullying, do not feel free to speak openly about themselves. The Day of Silence is a day for allies of LGBT students to reflect on what it must feel like to have to live a life in silence. It is hoped that in reflecting about this experience, empathy can be built amongst students to create a less hostile school community for all students.
During both lunch periods, students who choose to participate in the Day of Silence take a pledge, receive a friend sticker, and sign the Day of Silence banner.
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-calling, bullying and harassment. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward fighting these injustices.
In support of the Gay Straight Alliance, the Friends of Rachel Club presented at Morning Muster the following presentation…
Each day 160,000 students do not go to school because they are bullied, teased and harassed. By turning the story of a tragic death at Columbine High School into a mission for change, Friends of Rachel Clubs around the country are helping to create safer learning environments and making a world-wide impact.
The goal of the Friends of Rachel Club is based on the writings and life of 17 year-old Rachel Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999. Rachel left a legacy of reaching out to those who were different, who were picked on by others, or who were new at her school. Shortly before her death she wrote,
I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.
The five Rachel’s Challenges are:
- Look for the Best in Others
- Dream Big
- Choose Positive Influences
- Speak with Kindness
- Start Your Own Chain Reaction
The Friends of Rachel’s Club and Gay-Straight Alliance stand together in our shared goal of ending bullying and creating a chain reaction of kindness and compassion in our school and community. The main goal of our clubs is to help create a permanent cultural change in our school. We are confident the chain reaction of kindness and compassion will continue for many years to come and we thank you for your support.