April 16 is Day of Silence
What is Day of Silence?
The purpose is to silently and peacefully protest anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) bullying, harassment, and name calling.
Because students who are targeted for anti-gay or anti-transgender bullying often do not identify as LGBT, the Day of Silence represents a peaceful protest of a problem that affects all students no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Learn more at the ACLU's website
What are your student rights during the Day of Silence?
*Cross posted from the ACLU Blog of Rights
You DO have a right to participate in Day of Silence and other expressions of your opinion at a public school during non-instructional time: the breaks between classes, before and after the school day, lunchtime, and any other free times during your day. If your principal or a teacher tells you otherwise, you should contact our office or the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.
- You do NOT have a right to remain silent during class time if a teacher asks you to speak. If you want to stay quiet during class on Day of Silence, we recommend that you talk with your teachers ahead of time, tell them that you plan to participate in Day of Silence and why it's important to you, and ask them if it would be okay for you to communicate in class on that day in writing. Most teachers will probably say yes.
- Your school is NOT required to "sponsor" Day of Silence. But Day of Silence is rarely a school-sponsored activity to begin with -- it's almost always an activity led by students. So don't be confused - just because your school isn't officially sponsoring or participating in Day of Silence doesn't mean that you can't participate.
- Students who oppose Day of Silence DO have the right to express their views, too. Like you, they must do so in a civil, peaceful way and they only have a right to do so during noninstructional time. For example, they don't have a right to skip school on Day of Silence without any consequences, just as you don't have a right to skip school just because you don't like what they think or say.