Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day of Silence - Observed by a teenager

The 17th annual Day of Silence recently happened on April 20th in schools around the world. It was originally organized to represent all the bullying and harassment happening in schools everywhere. By being silent for a day, the participants show support for those that don't seem to have a voice when violence threatens their everyday lives. This day is for every child that was picked on in school. Be it for a physical handicap, mental handicap or for just being different than the crowd, we are giving a "voice" to those that scream, but are not heard.

I wish that this day could be observed in the business or even college level worlds. But reality keeps it confined to Junior and Senior High Schools, not just in the United States, but all across the globe. Students are standing up and "Not Being Heard" for all those that have suffered (including me). The best I could do was a simple facebook entry stating...
"This Space Intentionally Left Blank.....   National Day of Silence"

I look forward to the day that these kids are running the world.

A friend's son has a blog and after staying silent all day at school, had this to type on his blog. The only silence broken was the clicking sound of typing.

I’m pretty sure this was one of the most successful days I’ve ever had. The pictures above are of a card (inside, front, back) a friend made for me to show some of the people who participated and/or support the Day of Silence! Honestly, I still can’t believe how big it was in our school. I came to school with a stack of “speaking cards” that I printed from the DoS website, and as I showed people, more and more of them asked for some. I started having people I didn’t even know come up to me and use my name when asking for them. It actually got to the point where I ran out of cards to give. I stopped giving them out when I had just enough for my teahcers, but by fourth period, my teachers had already seen the cards or had been told about the event. The best part: Not one of my teachers opposed. During first period, My math substitute actually put the slip of paper on the overhead to show the whole class and gave out sticky-notes for students to write “Day of Silence” and wear. My third period teacher said she would try not to ask many questions, and the rest of my teachers knew about it already and were quick to say that is was understood and they were okay with it.

This day really opens your eyes. It’s a lot harder than you would think. This morning, when I was in the shower, I caught myself about to burst out in song or start muttering to myself. During first and second period, I blurted out the answers to questions the teachers asked. Of course, your friends point it out to you like you hadn’t already caught it. They’d gasp and point, and I would cover my mouth with eyes wide open. But it’s all fun.

I actually didn’t do nearly as good as I thought I was going to. Besides the mindless slips, there were times where I found that I had no choice but to speak. In yearbook, we are working on a project. Keeping silent is very hard when three of the four group members aren’t speaking, so every now and then we had to say something really quick. Being a social butterfly helps none of this.

One of the biggest things I noticed was how people were showing me personally that they were participating. I mean, it was probably because I’m the token gay-guy at the school, or that I was the one to warn everybody a week or two in advance. I had friends who would run up to me and wave their hands in silence to show they were participating. They would smile and shoot me a glance that let me know they were joining in, and I couldn’t help but smile back and think about how loyal and amazing my friends are. Recently, I’ve realized that my friends are truly a gift. The card shown above was made for me by a couple of friends. The support I have is beyond belief. I could go on and on. I am lucky.

Moral of the story: Not only did the day of silence bring a lot of people together for a good cause, but it taught me about myself and reminded me of how simply amazing my friends are. 

Happy Day of Silence.


Thanks Spencer, for being an inspiration to an entire school. You are effecting more people in your life than you could ever know.
Spencer for President!

You can check out Spencer's blog at



John Gray said...

an example of just how important blogs can be eh?

Mitchell is Moving said...

Wow. Spencer isn't just an inspiration to his fellow students; I'm inspired, too. What an exceptional human being! His school, teachers, and friends seem to be unusually enlightened. I hope it's contagious. And now I'm going to visit Spencer's blog!

MorningAJ said...

I wish I'd known about this in advance. Thank you for telling us about it. And a (silent) hug for Spencer.

Anonymous said...

I wish you guys could have seen it! It was amazing!

I was thinking earlier, LGBT bullying is really changing. I'm very open with my sexuality, yet I hardly get any bullying. It's very rare to hear any sort of anti-gay remark directed towards me, and I've NEVER experienced any physical harassment.
We are making a difference. It took a while, and it's still a work in progress, but it is happening nonetheless.

Stew said...

It really helps to know that everything we've tried to do and the examples that we've been, is paying off.