How to Observe the Day of Silence

The Day of Silence is held every year to protest anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) bullying in schools. It is meant to echo the silence of the victims of the bullying. Here is how you can participate in it:


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    Consider carefully. Think hard about whether you want to participate in the Day of Silence.
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    Find out when it will be held. Go to the Day of Silence website and confirm the date. Be sure that if you are committing to it, you have no obstacles to fully participating, such as if you are the lead in your school play.
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    Sign up for it when it is announced in your school.
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    Follow your instructions. You will probably have to remain silent during the day and maybe carry a sign around with the story of a victim of homophobic bullying.
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    Tell anyone that may be expecting you to speak. If you're a student, you may want to talk to your teachers in advance about what you will be doing and why.
    • Some schools give you passes, making it even easier to participate. If a teacher or other authority figure is involved, ask them about educating the rest of the faculty about Day of Silence and/or giving the participating students passes.
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    Get friends to participate. It will be easier to resist the temptation of talking when you have a coalition of friends participating with you.
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    Break the Silence. Plan an event to Break the Silence. A Breaking the Silence Event is an opportunity for participants in the Day of Silence to finally speak out about their experience of the Day. Breaking the Silence means something different everywhere you go. In many cases, Breaking the Silence is the first moment that any of the participants speak on the Day of Silence. In some places it is a celebration of the events of the day and the successes of individuals. It can also be a wonderful combination of both. It may look like a big rally, or like a small meeting but a Breaking the Silence event is always a great way to end your Day of Silence activities. What does a Breaking the Silence event look like? Participants from previous years have used lots of ways to break the silence:
    • "New Year's Eve" Model: Participants assemble at the end of the day, there's a silent countdown to the designated finish time, and when the clock strikes, everyone screams, hollers, sings, rings bells, blow whistles, beats drums, shakes noisemakers, and so on.
    • "Daybreak" Model: Participants assemble at the end of the day, there's a silent countdown to the designated finish time, and when the clock strikes, people begin slowly to make noise or speak as the feeling comes to them.
    • “One Voice” Model: Participants assemble at the end of the day, and when the clock strikes, participants take turns going up to the microphones and speaking to the entire group.
      • One powerful approach is to have participants describe how it felt to remain silent for nine hours, and the responses they received throughout the day.
      • The important thing is to decide ahead of time which type of Breaking the Silence Event suits you best. You won't be able to discuss it on the Day of Silence, so choosing early insures that everyone respects the Silence Breaking that everyone has decided on.
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    Remember that participating in the Day of Silence can be a very emotional and exhausting event for people. Expect various types of conversations to ensue.
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    Examine what you gained by the experience - for yourself and for others. Bullying will not be stopped by the Day of Silence. It will be stopped by people like you who stand up to bullying and don't just stand by as a bystander. You can make a big difference in someone's life.


  • Check out the website for more information
  • If your school doesn't participate in the Day of Silence, you can do something about it. Get information, and bring it to your school.


  • Do not belittle someone for not participating, especially if they are LGBT+ themselves. Some people find Day of Silence ineffective and/or counterproductive. Make sure you're respecting their opinions and not speaking over anyone.
  • Teachers are not required to respect your decision to not talk on this day. If you have an oral report or something that day, talk to the teacher in advance so he/she knows why you would be unable to participate, and be willing to make it up on a different day. Ultimately, it is still more important to work in school, and you should not allow this to interfere in any way with your education or effective class participation.

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Categories: Human Rights | LGBT