Disrepect on the Day of Silence

By Breana Brill

Sophomore Breana Brill on respect.

The Day of Silence is an event where students come together and stay silent for a whole school day to support and raise awareness about the bullying and harassment people have experienced who are part of the LGBTQ community. This year’s Day of Silence took place Friday, April 20.

I have a huge amount of respect to those who partake in this event, and have the ability to stay silent for the whole school day.

This year’s Day of Silence was almost comparable to the 10 year olds posting about Kony 2012 on their Facebook walls. From what I noticed through clippings of hallway conversations and my own experiences in the classrooms, some of the students used this day as an excuse to get out of class. They would be silent during class, and once the bell rang, they used the hallway as a free zone to start talking again. As a supporter of the community, I found this really offensive.

To take this special event and use it as this kind of excuse to get out of a class you don’t like is disrespective to the kids, teens and adults who suffer through harassment and bullying because of their sexual orientation. To be honest, this probably happens every year. Even my freshman year, I noticed some were doing it, not because they wanted to raise awareness, but because they knew this was a free pass to not participate in class. But the number of students who did it this year, definitely rose.

“We had an oral test on the Day Of Silence in Ms. Hettinger’s class,” said sophomore Gretchen Sterba. “She took precautions to see who was going to participate in this day a week before, and only a few of us rose our hands. But on the day of the test, almost half the class was participating in this event as an excuse to get out of the test. This is a really important event to raise awareness, and to see my classmates use it as an excuse made me lose a lot of respect for them. I felt bad for Ms. Hettinger.”

To think that some students would use Day of Silence to get out of the oral test is sickening. This event is truly inspiring, as long as it’s used right. The LGBTQ community has come a long way from the bullying and harassment a lot of the people who are involved have experienced. This is a disgrace to their suffering.

“People who really support this day are respectable. But people who don’t really support it and just did it certain periods to get out of classes they don’t like is dumb,” said sophomore Alena Nissan.

And I have to agree with her. Students have worked really hard to try and get the support of the school to have the ability to promote this event that happens all around America. Having others do this for their benefit only, and not the event/communities benefit will completely ruin this event for the students who really want to help improve the LGBTQ community.

I’m not saying that all the students who participated in this event were doing it to get out of class, I’m just pointing out the bunch who did it for that reason only. I know there are true supporters of this event, and I give props to the students who really stayed silent for the whole school day, as a true way to raise awareness with not only your teachers and peers in your classrooms, but to also raise awareness with your friends in the lunchroom and free periods.  I truly wish events like these could be respected by all, and just as we are making progress with support for the LGBTQ community, I hope we can make the same progress with the maturity level of our fellow high schoolers.