Thursday, April 24, 2008

What Are You Going To Do To End The Silence?

This Friday April 25th is the National Day of Silence which seeks to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools by purposely remaining silent for the duration of the school day. When I was the faculty advisor of the Gay/Straight Alliance at the private upper day school where I taught at in Grosse Pointe, MI, I helped orchestrate our school's participation in the Day of Silence. In the years since my teaching career ended, I continued to observe the Day of Silence right here on the blog, choosing not to blog for a portion of the day in support of those students who feel they are silenced by name-calling, bullying and harassment in school. I plan to participate in the Day of Silence this Friday as well, I will not be blogging for the duration of the school day (8:00 AM to 3:00 PM PT) as a show of support this year.

Lance Bass has recorded a PSA in support of the GLSEN and the Day of Silence which explains what the Day of Silence seeks to achieve ... here is his video message:


Additionally, The School of Social Justice will hold their Day of Silence event today Thursday, April 24th, followed by a Breaking the Silence assembly, which will kick off with an introduction by GLSEN President Kevin Jennings. Curtis Shepard, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Director of Youth and Family Services, and GSA Network representative Daniel Solis also will speak. The ceremony will feature performances and remarks by students, as well as Lance Bass's new PSA for GLSEN, a PSA from GSA Network starring Alec Mapa and a PSA for LAGLC featuring Bruce Vilanch at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex - 322 S. Lucas Avenue, Los Angeles, CA. I am very excited that this event is taking place today ahead of the Day of Silence on Friday.

Openly gay actor TR Knight has signed on to attend the Breaking the Silence event today and Larry King has also filmed his own PSA, much like the one that Lance recorded ... this from E!'s Marc Malkin:

Silence will be golden tomorrow for T.R. Knight. The openly gay Grey's Anatomy star has just signed on to participate in the National Day of Silence ceremony at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex in Los Angeles. Sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to help combat bullying and harassment of gays in schools, the day is marked by students across the country taking vows of silence during the day. This year’s 12th annual programming—most of which takes place on Friday—is dedicated to Lawrence "Larry" King, a 15-year-old California boy who was shot to death in February by a fellow student, allegedly because King was gay. I can also exclusively tell you that talk-show host Larry King is getting involved, too. Just last night, he took a break from his live coverage of the Pennsylvania primary to film a public service announcement for GLSEN and the Day of Silence.

Click HERE to watch Larry King's PSA. If you would like more information on how you might be able to participate in the Day of Silence this Friday for any further information on the event, head on over to DayofSilence.org. I realize that not everyone may be able to participate but just being aware of what is taking place and keeping an open mind for those of us who choose to participate will go a long way to helping raise awareness.