Day of Silence

Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Day of Silence, filled with diverse and supportive colors, advocates for those whose voices have been silenced.

The Sexuality and Gender Acceptance (SAGA) club, previously known as the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), hosted this year’s Day of Silence April 15. The club changed their name this year to express their acceptance of the whole spectrum of the L.G.B.T. community.

The event aims to bring awareness to the voices of the L.G.B.T. community who have been silenced through anti-L.G.B.T. bullying, harassment and name calling in schools. According to the GLSEN 2013 National School Climate Survey, nine out of 10 L.G.B.T. students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school and more than 30 percent report missing at least a day of school in the past month because of fears for personal safety.

Junior SAGA club President Jazmin Eckroth said,“So many schools around the world are not as accepting as the schools here. There are schools where kids can’t even talk about who they are and so I feel like the Day of Silence is important so that way students can feel like they are supported, and so that way they know they have a safe space to talk about who they are and to help stop the spread bullying and any anti LGTBQ plus harassment.”

Lavice Cooper is a junior who had not been in the SAGA club before, but chose to participate in the Day of Silence.

“I have a lot of family members who are lesbian, gay and bi and some of them are still scared to speak up and come out about who they are,” Cooper said. “Some of my family members face discrimination from their own families for coming out so it’s personal.”

SAGA also hosts events including Ally-Week aimed to bring awareness on how to be an effective ally. The club also hopes to welcome a speaker to RHS next year. These events are opened up to the whole school for participation and not just club members.

SAGA club sponsor Carmen Tong said,”It is a very sobering event because the peers that witness their classmates being silent kind of echo those silences that are caused by students who are constantly bullied or harassed and feel forced to be quiet about themselves.”