Day of Silence Sends Loud Message

Why the Day of Silence is important and how Grayslake Central participates.


Daniella Fulmer

Students at Metropolitan Community College participate in DOS

Trinity Kellogg, Staff Reporter

The Day of Silence is a day that is very important to those in the LGBTQ+ community, though it isn’t well known, or practiced. Grayslake Central students once again participated in the Day of Silence on April 14, 2023, as they have for many years. The Day of Silence is a student-led day of action for those who support making anti-LGBTQ+ bulling and harassment unacceptable in schools by staying silent to represent how students in the LGBTQ+ community have been, and continue to be, silenced.
The Day of Silence was first organized in 1996 by a group of students at the University of Virginia. It originated as a class project on non-violent protest. The first year had over 150 people participate and the organizers of this project then took it to the national level, and got nearly 100 colleges and universities to participate. The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) became the official sponsors of the Day of Silence though it is still considered a student-led activity. The Day of Silence is meant to call attention to the fact that LGBTQ+ students and adults face harassment and discrimination on a daily basis.
“It is important to draw attention to the vulnerability of the LGBTQ+ community within the sphere of education. Students under the queer umbrella are more likely to struggle with with mental health and suicide ideation, they are more likely to face harrassment from peers, to be homeless due to lack of familial support, to become drug dependent, to contract STIs, and to struggle in school,” said Grayslake Central’s SAGE advisor, Elizabeth Ryan.
LGBTQ+ students are protected under the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment, which states “no state shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
It is also in the students First Amendment right to exercise their freedom of speech, or silence in this case, in peaceful protest as long as it isnt disruptive to the school environment. As a school, “This year at least 15 students pledged their silence (we had a sign-up form posted around the school), but several others may have participated on their own,” said Ryan. Grayslake Central has been participating in the Day of Silence for many years now. It is important for students to educate themselves on their rights before participating in student-led activities and protests such as DOS.
Day of Silence is open for everyone to participate, not just members of the LGBTQ+ community, but their allies as well.