Every year, since 1996, students across the country have participated in the annual “Day of Silence”. In attempt to highlight the abuse and silencing of LGBT+ students in high schools, PV students took a vow of silence on April 27, 2018.
The event was organized by the Perkiomen Valley GSA, or Gay Straight Alliance. Students at Perk Valley who wanted to participate picked up a sticker and a paper that informed their peers that they were participating and spent the day in silence. Many PV students decided to participate, and the GSA even held a “Break the Silence” party afterwards.
PV Junior Jess Matthews says she participated in the Day of Silence because, “It was a topic close to my heart; I felt that participating was my way of raising awareness for something not many people think about.”
Outside of the Valley, hundreds of thousands of other students participated as well. Since 2001, GLSEN has been the official sponsor of this event, and they reported that they had students in all fifty states, plus many international students, who registered on their website, prior to the big day.
GLSEN’s website explains their logic behind the Day of Silence. They state that four out of five students do not see positive LGBT representation, nine out of ten students are subject to verbal harassment, and one out of every three students miss school because they feel unsafe or uncomfortable. GLSEN continues to organize this event because they believe it is important to highlight the erasure of LGBT students in high schools.
After the event had ended, GLSEN announced that the next Day of Silence would take place April 12, 2019. Students interested in participating can register online on the GLSEN website.