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Students Raise Awareness with Silence

Nicole Schroy, Web and Multimedia Editor

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Sometimes it speaks volumes.

Southern Lehigh High School observed the annual Day of Silence on Friday April 21, 2017. That’s right, a whole day that revolves around the lack of one of the most important things in our everyday lives: communication.

Sponsored by the Southern Lehigh Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), students spent the entire day silently spreading awareness about the harms of bullying and harassment of LGBTQ students.

“I have close friends who are members of the community and for me, it’s a day representing them and representing what they believe,” senior Georgian Fan said. “It’s all about representing the cause and not to mention, the fight for equality.”

Forty students participated in this event. Each individual made a huge statement by, well, not verbally stating anything all day.

Students who participated in this event were given “speaking cards” which explained why they would not be speaking:

“Please understand my reasons for not speaking today.  I am participating in the Day of Silence, a national youth movement protesting the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies in schools.  My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by harassment, discrimination, and prejudice.  I believe that ending the silence is the first step towards fighting these injustices.  Think about the voices you are not hearing today.  What are you doing to end the silence?”

The message behind the silence is a strong one, one that looks to prevent harassment of the LGBTQ community.

“I feel like it’s still a serious issue, it’s something that’s still happening. People still stay silent because they feel too scared to stand up for themselves. Day of Silence raises awareness,” junior GSA vice-president Hannah Corrado said. “It’s really about power of numbers; it would be better if a lot of people did it. A lot of people did it last year and you could really hear the silence.”

In taking steps forward to really solidify the embracement of equality, there  are plenty of things you can do to ease the process. This includes asking questions and getting educated about the LGBT community.

“A huge thank you to students who participated, it’s not easy to take those kinds of stands so publicly and I really appreciate their bravery,” GSA co-advisor Mrs. Lauren Tocci said. “And thank you to those who were respectful to the students who felt compelled to take part in something like this. Respecting someone who wants to champion a cause is always appreciated.”

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Students Raise Awareness with Silence