The Day of Silence

by Kaleb Fullbright

On Friday, April 15th, Oakdale High School’s Gay Straight Alliance club organized a Day of Silence. A day of silence is a day where people do not talk so that they spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students and their supporters.

The history of the day of silence:

The day of silence was first started in 1996 when a few students from the University of Virginia organized the first Day of Silence in response to a class assignment on non-violent protests. In 1997, organizers made their efforts national and nearly 100 colleges and universities participated. In 2008 they held a day of silence in memory of Lawrence “Larry” King, an 8th grader from E.O. Green Middle School who was shot and killed by a fellow student because he was gay.

The Day of Silence in Oakdale:

On Friday, April 15th Oakdale held its third Day of Silence, and it was a lot of fun. You’d walk down the halls and see someone who was also participating and you’d automatically have a connection. You would silently know that you and that person are on the same page. Ms. Tara Ketteringham, Guidance Counselor, called in some students who were participating and we took a picture. It’s not all the people that participated, but it shows how unified the students who participated are.

When asked why they participated everyone had different reasons.

“I participated because, though I feel that we’ve come a long way in acceptance and understanding of all people, I feel we have a long way to go,” Ms. Ketteringham stated.

“I participated because I’’m trans(sexual) and I feel as though I’m supporting my people,” Senior Xander Friedman stated.

The day of silence was a great day for anyone in the LGBTQ community. It brought to light the aspect of bullying and made people wonder what it would be like to change.