By Amelia Gomez ’22 and Hannah Sipich ’22
Last Friday, students around the world were silent in order to have their voices heard. This is GLSEN’s (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) Day of Silence. The Day of Silence was first organized in 1996 to bring awareness to the harassment and bullying LGBTQ+ students encounter. Bullying is unacceptable, and no one should be subjected to it anywhere, anytime.
We are proud to be part of the majority of Morgan Park Academy’s Middle and Upper School students who enthusiastically take part in this student-led movement. On this day, we dress in black and do not speak (except during class time). We are silent to remind ourselves and others that even though we want to use our voices and have ourselves heard, we cannot. This is how victims of bullying feel. They are afraid that if they speak out against what is happening to them, they will face more of the same treatment, or worse.
We are all unique people. Each of us is different but special and it is important for all of us to remember this. No one has the right to define anyone and make them feel like they are outcasts. This is why it is important to show our support. If everyone would just be kinder and do their best to include others, our world would be a much better place.
Day of Silence has a different meaning for everyone. Some want to support the LGBTQ+ community, others are a part of it and want to speak out, others have friends/family who have been bullied, etc. Everyone should be aware of the harassment LGBTQ+ people have to face on a daily basis. Day of Silence is supposed to show that even though they may have silenced others, they cannot silence us.
Everyone has a choice to participate, but seeing so many students joined together to support a specific cause is very moving. It helps others to get through tough times to know that there are people who care in your community and that students aren’t afraid to speak out against bullying.
Amelia and Hannah are eighth-grade students at Morgan Park Academy.