Saddleback College’s Associated Student Government and the Equity and Diversity Committee assembling their event tents for GLSEN’s Day of Silence on Thursday, April 26. (Ashley Hern)
Associated Student Government and the Equity and Diversity Committee invited students to engage in GLSEN’s sponsored event
Saddleback College’s Associated Student Government and the Equity and Diversity Committee coordinated the campus’ participation in GLSEN’s sponsored Day of Silence on Thursday, April 26. The coordinators, including Spanish instructor Carmenmara Hernandez-Bravo, embellished two event tents or canopies with multiple rainbow banners and included seating for students participating in the moment of silence. GLSEN states that the Day of Silence spotlights the lack of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and allies or LGBTQQIA+ representation in education.
GLSEN estimates that four in five LGBTQ students do not see positive or appropriate representation in educational curriculum. Furthermore, nine in 10 LGBTQ students have reported experiencing verbal harassment. 33 percent of LGBTQ students also report feeling unsafe or uncomfortable in education facilities.
The first Day of Silence occurred at the University of Virginia with more than 150 students participating in 1996. GLSEN became involved with the event as the official organization sponsor in 2001. Students throughout the United States have participated in gatherings, along with countries like New Zealand, Singapore and Russia.
According to GLSEN, students can participate in the Day of Silence through any, “positive or uplifting activity.” GLSEN recommends students to register on their website to receive free streaming of multiple inclusive educational documentaries. Students are able to break their silence through the use of letters asking school administrations to be more inclusive to LGBTQQIA+ students.