Taking a Stand with Silence

Taking a Stand with Silence photo

Middle and high schoolers throughout the school district took a stand for students across the country who feel they cannot speak freely about their orientation, those who have been bullied, and those who have been permanently silenced by suicide, by participating in the Day of Silence on April 12. This day was organized nationwide in collaboration with the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

EMS has been participating in the event for the past few years and had over 80 students sign up to participate this year. Each student who signed up was given dry-erase boards in order to communicate when necessary throughout the day. For students who were unable to be silent for the day, rainbow pins and stickers were made available to show their support.

Throughout the day, students through walked the halls with encouraging messages, such as “speak up for what’s right” and “equality rocks”, written on their white boards. The day not only served to bring awareness, but also as an effort to continue building a welcoming and accepting climate free of hurtful slurs and bullying.

“Students don’t use certain words because they know innately that they’re wrong, so why should they feel comfortable using others that are just as hurtful?” asked guidance counselor and event spearhead Todd Schwartz. “Another facet of today’s mission is to educate our students to not repeat history by hurting their peers.”

The John H. Glenn High School community observed the day, officially, for the first time. The Elwood Knight, redesigned with a rainbow plume donning his helmet and the word “silence” engraved into his sword, was printed on t-shirts and worn by many members of the faculty and staff. Those staying silent for the day were able to silently deliver instruction to their students, as well as students being able to respond to lessons without speaking by way of Google Classroom.

Additionally, inspirational speaker Jared Foxx visited John H. Glenn to break the silence and speak openly about the oppression that the LGBQT+ community faces, and how we can show kindness and support to one another.

“We want to continue creating an affirming and safe environment for all students,” said Principal Carisa Burzynski. “And days like today are a big step in that direction.”

View a video from EMS on the Day of Silence below.