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About the GLSEN Day of Silence
The GLSEN Day of Silence is a national day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.
Founded in 1996, the Day of Silence has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. From the first-ever Day of Silence at the University of Virginia in 1996, to the organizing efforts in over 8,000 middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities across the country in 2008, its textured history reflects its diversity in both numbers and reach.
Organizing for Day of Silence
Organizing a Day of Silence (DOS) activity or event can be a positive tool for change-both personally and community-wide. By taking a vow of silence, you're making a powerful statement about the important issue of anti-LGBT bullying, and when you organize others to join you that message becomes stronger.
Your Rights
While you DO have a right to participate in the GLSEN Day of Silence between classes and before and after school, you may NOT have the right to stay silent during instructional time if a teacher requests for you to speak. According to Lambda Legal, "Under the Constitution, public schools must respect students' right to free speech. The right to speak includes the right not to speak, as well as the right to wear buttons or T-shirts expressing support for a cause." However, this right to free speech doesn't extend to classroom time. "If a teacher tells a student to answer a question during class, the student generally doesn't have a constitutional right to refuse to answer." We remind participants that students who talk with their teachers ahead of time are more likely to be able to remain silent during class. Find more Lambda Legal advice here.
Legal Help: Report It!
If you think your rights are not being respected, or want to report your experience of resistant administration, click here to report it. GLSEN and Lambda Legal will review your situation.
The Truth about the Day of Silence
As the GLSEN Day of Silence continues to grow, some people have confused the mission and goals of the action. Clear up any misinformation by reading The Truth about the Day of Silence.
How to Organize Your Day of Silence
Breaking the Silence
Countdown to Day of Silence
Addressing the Resistance
Ideas for Getting Your School Involved
Tips for the Last Minute Organizer
Speaking Cards (English)
Speaking Cards (Spanish)
Selfie Sign (Color)
Selfie Sign (B&W)
Stickers (Color)
Stickers (B&W)
Day of Silence Pledge
Lambda Legal Student Rights FAQ
ACLU Letter to Schools About Day of Silence
For general inquiries about the GLSEN Day of Silence or questions about organizing:
call:     212-727-0135
Need help? Are you experiencing resistance to the GLSEN Day of Silence?
Click here to report it!
Media + Press Only:
These organizations have officially endorsed GLSEN Days of Action.
Copyright 2015 GLSEN, Inc., the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network. All rights reserved.
Championing LGBT Issues in K-12 Education since 1990
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