Clark Chronicle Clark Magnet High School La Crescenta, CA
Issue Date: Thursday, May 02, 2013 Issue: Vol. 15, Issue 8 Last Update: Thursday, May 09, 2013


The quietest day
(May 2, 2013) -- On April 19 students across the nation chose to be silent for a day to help bring awareness to LGBT bullying in their school.

Some students like freshman Nicole Svare found out about a Day of Silence just days before the event date and others like freshman Jared Ortaliza found out about the movement on the day of. The point of the organization is to encourage students to promote acceptance of all sexual orientations. “My friend

Nicole wasn’t talking on the bus and showed me a slip of paper explaining the day,” said Ortaliza, “and I saw it to be really inspiring so I decided to do it to support the LGBT community.”

According to GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network), the Day of Silence’s sponsor, 9 out of 10 LGBT students receive harassment for their sexual preference. More than 30% of these students miss school at least once a month in fear of their own safety. “It’s a natural and normal feeling,” said freshman Amalia Arzunyan She said that she doesn’t see why people bully other people over something like this.

“I have a lot of friends who are lesbian, gay and bi, and I understand their pain from being silent,” said sophomore Sabrina Scarborough as she reflected on her experience from a Day of Silence.

This growing national movement had 8,000 middle and high schools register in 2008, according to the Day of Silence registration statistics. This number continues to grow since the first year it was created by a group of college students in 1996. In 2011, the Day of Silence organization recorded having participating students in other parts of the world like New Zealand, Russia and more.

Scarborough said that there did not seem like a lot of students participated in the event this year. “If more people knew about it at our school, the movement would be an incredibly good way to advocate the message,” said Scarborough. She said that she really enjoyed the experience and that she definitely plans on doing it next year with a bigger group of people.

Day of Silence is an annual youth event that takes place in schools all around the country. The goal of this movement is to draw attention to bullying of LGBT students. By doing so, the students that participate take a vow to staying silent for the whole day. This silence is meant to reflect the silence that LGBT students go through because of the harassment they receive.

Arzunyan said that from this event she realized how hard it really is to be silent. “There were times where I really wanted to talk and say something, but I knew I wasn’t supposed to,” said Arzunyan. She said that even though she hated not being able to talk, it was a really good experience.

Ortaliza  said that although not speaking was a challenge he wanted to participate in the event because he supports the LGBT community. “It felt good to talk after and I realized how speaking is really important when it comes to expressing yourself,” said Ortaliza.

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