Students across the country are reporting a mix of positive and negative reactions to the annual in-school protest known as the Day of Silence, honoring those who have been bullied for not fitting in.
On the Day of Silence, students take a daylong vow of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.
Led by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, the Day of Silence has evolved over the years as students can report in real time about any resistance or negativity from teachers and their peers. The real-time reports are a change from the first day of silence, which happened in 2001, five years before Twitter launched, and students were at the ready to blast tweets during class from their iPhones and Droids.
Some reports from high school hallways:
@Flaaen101: yah well i am doing that day of silence and gues what i am in the office for standing up for what i want
@KanishaG: I got myself a pink triangle (: Day of Silence: Showing awareness to the effects of anti LGBT bullying and harrassment in schools.
@KeannaCasey: I walked past a guy whose reaction to Day of Silence was "Man, fuck fags". I said "Fuck you". I may be on a hitlist now.
@Maudlinbos: Today is the day of silence...I want to buy a pin or sticker and put it on my uniform...*wondering*
@PAPOWWW: I would participate in the day of silence, but all my classes today are way too boring for me not to talk.
According to GLSEN, 30 students at one school had been called into the administrator's office for participating in the Day of Silence and asked to go home with an unexcused absence because they were an educational distraction. An administrator at another school told a student that they could not attach a piece of paper explaining the point of the Day of Silence, adding, "I am not playing these stupid little games."
OutQ executive producer Amber Hall and OutQ news anchor and producer Xorje Olivares will host Breaking the Silence, a live call-in show Friday at 6 p.m. Eastern. They will be joined by the founders of the National Day of Silence, Maria Pulzetti and Jesse Gilliam, to talk about why they started the LGBT visibility movement nearly 15 years ago.