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last updated: Wed, Apr 23rd, 2014

Silence for a cause: MOHS students observe the National Day of Silence

Photo courtesy of www.dayofsilence.org/resources/


On April 11th many Mount Olive High School students participated in the National Day of Silence sponsored by GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network. For the nationwide event, students spend the day not speaking, bringing attention to the silencing effect of bullying and harassment in schools, particularly against LGBT youth.

Nicholas Polk, MOHS senior, said the goal of the event is to raise awareness for LGBT students who are subjected to bullying. He said, "These victims often have no voice, and so people that do have voices stay silent for a day to remind everyone of those without a voice."

The National Day of Silence began its annual event in 1996 at the University of Virginia, and from there the event grew. Hoping to make schools a safer place for everyone, the event is the largest student-led action in the nation.

During the Day of Silence, students who participate keep information cards on them at all times, explaining the event and encouraging others to, "Think about the voices you ARE NOT hearing today."

Mrs. Danielle Kulawiak, Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) adviser, said MOHS students have been participating in the Day of Silence event since 2008, and many students who are not part of GSA make it a tradition to participate as well. Mrs. Kulawiak said, "As adviser to the GSA, I act as a liaison for the students who wish to participate by informing staff of the timing and purpose of the Day of Silence."

Students who choose to partake in the event are required to participate in class discussion activities if asked by their teachers, and they understand this before volunteering for the event.

Sean Owens, a freshman at MOHS, said this is an important event students should be aware of "because it sparks curiosity in students to learn more about the subject." Sean also said, "People were surprised that I was participating because they normally see me talking a lot."

Samantha Norberg, an MOHS senior, said that she thinks this event is important because it helps to "stop the silence." 

Anthony Polk, a sophomore at MOHS, added to this and said the event "shows that people need to stand up and stop discrimination."

For more information on the National Day of Silence, please visit www.dayofsilence.org/resources/.

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