The Day of Silence (…and breaking it)

Siena Elliott

National Day of Silence takes place on April 17th every year and started in 1996 when students took a vow of silence to bring attention to LGBT students who have been silenced or bullied because of their sexual orientation.

Last Friday, DHS students remained silent for the entire day — minus communicating with teachers — until the pep rally. At the pep rally prominent members of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Haley Bird and Madi Meyer gave a speech about breaking the silence and giving a voice to those who have none.

Hear the voices of those who participated in the Day of Silence on Friday as well supporters of the LGBT community:


Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 8.57.36 AM“The Day of Silence is about supporting LGBT people for whom coming out would mean a threat on their life. These are the people who truly weren’t heard, and because of this, straight and cis people should stay silent to amplify the voices of others. We want to support those who are scared to express who they are even on day’s like National Coming Out Day.”— Sophomores Caroline Barber and Brenna Hilby


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“I can sympathize with those students who went to speak their minds and express themselves but couldn’t because of a simple minded community they’re stuck in or are surrounded by people who won’t listen.” — Junior Brilyn Thorton


“I think that in Decatur especially, mScreen Shot 2015-04-21 at 8.57.24 AMany people don’t have awareness about the struggles that LGBT teens and adults face world-wide even. It’s easy to run statistics by people on the announcements but that’s not always effective. To bring awareness to an issue you kind of have to shove it in peoples faces… By taking the vow of silence you kill two birds with one stone. You show support and love to those who cannot for whatever reason speak out for themselves, and you show those ignorant to the problem that the problem exists” — GSA Co-president Maia Schneberger


Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 8.57.58 AM“To raise awareness to the fact that prejudice affects more people than is commonly assumed. Many of my friends and classmates assume that I’m straight and Day of Silence is a chance to share the fact that I am bisexual and that you shouldn’t shouldn’t automatically assume anyones sexuality.” — Junior Rachael Beaumont


Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 8.58.26 AM“To commemorate the lives lost of oppressed LGBT people. There is a forced silence upon people in the closet and some peoples lives depend on the pass-ability of their gender.” — GSA Co-president Roxy Brown


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“I think that it is important to recognize all students and all diversity at this school and raise awareness for the LGBT community.” — Principal Noel Maloof 


Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 8.58.47 AM“It must be so hard to silence part of yourself every day because living out loud would not be safe. Living in Decatur is a privilege. I find the exercise forces me to be reflective about what I have to say and what I just want to say. I look forward to days when we can all live out loud together.” —  Psychology teacher Jennifer Gonzalez


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“I don’t think anyone should feel unaccepted because of a personal choice. Also, if someone is oppressed to the point where they don’t want to communicate, they are losing part of their humanity.” — Junior Andalib Samandari


Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 8.59.10 AM“Day of Silence gives a voice to the voiceless. It’s important to be aware of this and know what kids of the LGBT community go though on a daily basis.” — Sophomore Haley Bird and junior Madi Meyer