Many young people across the country are scared to go to school.
It's not the hard work that frightens them; it's bullies who threaten their physical safety, their sense of self-worth and their ability to form healthy relationships. Five days a week, young people have to fear what might happen to them as they walk down the hallway or go outside for lunch.
For LGBT kids, the odds are especially high that they'll face this harassment. Sadly, these bullied kids take their lives sometimes just to escape the torment.
So it's great to see that in addition to creative efforts like Bully, written by a Colorado College alum, there's now a national campaign against bullying of LGBT kids. It's the It Gets Better Project, and people across the country are taking time today to observe the National Day of Silence. This day is meant to honor all the kids who face bullying, and those who have taken their own lives because of it.
There's a great event right here in the Springs at 3 p.m. at City Hall. Read on:
Breaking the Silence after National Day of Silence April 20
INSIDE OUT YOUTH SERVICES
April 18, 2012, Colorado Springs, CO – April 20, 2012, is the Day of Silence, one of the largest student-led actions in the country. The purpose is to raise awareness around anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) bullying, harassment, and name-calling.
On Friday, hundreds of students locally will be taking a vow of silence to represent the silencing faced by LGBT people and their allies every day. Inside Out Youth Services is proud to host youth in “Breaking the Silence” at 4:00 p.m. at Colorado Springs City Hall.
What: “Breaking the Silence” with LGBT Youth
When: April 20, 2012 – 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Colorado Springs City Hall, 107 North Nevada Avenue, Colo Spgs
Why: Day of Silence is a student-led action raising awareness about the forced silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender students because of discrimination and harassment.
Special Guest: Paula Reed, former Columbine High School teacher
The Day of Silence in local schools is particularly relevant. Colorado just one year ago passed a law (HB1254) requiring all school districts put in place policies that address cyber-bullying and that address harassment of students because of sexual orientation and gender expression/gender identity.
School districts around the state are getting up to speed on the new policy requirements and, more importantly, on supporting teachers and other school staff on how to effectively address bias-based bullying. The Day of Silence is an opportunity for students to take the initiative to teach one another and others about diversity, respect and safety for all students.
The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network’s 2009 National School Climate Survey found that 9 out of 10 LGBT students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school, and 30% report missing at least a day of school in the past month out of fear for their personal safety. The Day of Silence is one way students and their allies are making anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and name-calling unacceptable in American’s schools.