Students at schools throughout the Bay Area will be participating today in a “Day of Silence” to raise awareness of the silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students through bullying and harassment.
The actions, organized by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, a national gay advocacy organization, are an attempt to have “students take notice of the fact that anti-LGBT bullying is still a huge problem in schools,” GLSEN spokesman Daryl Presgraves said.
Students from more than 6,000 schools around the country, including more than 100 in the Bay Area, have signed up to take part in the day of action.
The Day of Silence could take different forms at different schools, but most will include students remaining silent during breaks between classes and at lunch.
Students may also remain silent during classes, but Presgraves said that the organization has encouraged the students to get the permission of their teachers and administrators beforehand, since they do not necessarily have a right to remain silent if a teacher asks them to speak.
Randy Thomasson, a conservative who created the group SaveCalifornia.com, is encouraging parents to remove their children from school on today rather than have them at school during the actions.
“Parents who are hearing about ‘Day of Silence’ are appalled this takeover is happening, Thomasson said in a statement. “They don’t want their children to be subjected to in-your-face indoctrination.”
Presgraves said it “seems pretty illogical to try to encourage people to stay home from schools to protest schools allowing students to exercise their First Amendment rights” by remaining silent.
“And from what we understand, many teachers are happy that students are being quiet in the classroom,” he said.
More information about the Day of Silence is available at www.dayofsilence.org.