student and teacher working with letter tiles

Day of Silence

Friday, April 21, 2017

day of silence posterThe Landmark High School will observe the Day of Silence on Friday, April 28, 2017. The Day of Silence is a very special day of commemoration for many students and adults in the Landmark community. We are one of thousands of schools all over the country who participate. It is designed to help us remember the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) people who have been silenced by those who do not or have not accepted them. Showing our support is especially important now, as rates of bullying and harassment increase for students who identify as LGBTQ, and these students are four times more likely to attempt suicide.

Being silenced can mean many things. The most common instance of silencing behavior on our campus is when a student says aloud in a common place on campus, "That’s so gay," or a similar comment that is derogatory toward LGBTQ people. The effect of this kind of statement on a person who either is LGBTQ or has family and friends who are is that this person is not a safe to be around, and school in general may not be safe. Further, if this conversation happens within earshot of a faculty member who does nothing to stop it, its effects on the student are compounded and the student feels more isolated.

Landmark Fosters a Sense of Acceptance 

As bullying has become an issue of national concern, we feel proud that Landmark has steadily worked to create a community that strives for acceptance, not just tolerance. Many of our students know what it is like to be left out or mistreated in the classroom, and can understand what it can feel like to be ostracized in a community. We hope that events like the Day of Silence will give needed attention to the struggles of the LGBTQ community, as well as provide a moment to be aware of and grateful for Landmark's supportive environment.

The Day of Silence is a voluntary event. On April 28, students can choose how or if they want to be a part of the Day of Silence. If they would like to be a part of the day, they can either "participate" in or "support" the event. Students who choose to be a "participant" commit to being silent from 7:50 a.m until 2:23 p.m. This means they will not speak in classes, but will still be expected to complete all class activities and express concerns or questions through writing. They will wear a sticker that indicates their silence and carry a handout to explain the meaning of being silent. Students who choose to be a "supporter" will wear a sticker throughout the day in a show of support and talk as usual. Faculty and student representatives from the GSA will be in the cafeteria starting at 7:30 a.m. to hand out stickers and information on April 28. During 8th period, participants and supporters (with teacher permission!) are invited to gather in the cafeteria to “Break the Silence” and reflect on the day with a special guest speaker.

If you have questions about the day or want to learn more about the LGBTQ community, please contact either Ms. Martin-Cone or Ms. Pettengill, or check out the website and look up Day of Silence.