Day of Silence Speaks Volumes

Jaime Hinkel

Along with several other participants, (left to right) Jacqueline Disch, Mehr Kaur, Dan Liberta, Leah Raczynski, and Sam Chirco, gathered in the HHS Audtiorium the morning of Day of Silence to get their shirts and to take their oath of silence for the day. Photo by Jaime Hinkel

By Jaime Hinkel
On Friday April 13, members of the Hopkinton High School GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) participated in the annual Day of Silence.

The hallways of Hopkinton High School were filled with students wearing lime green t-shirts bearing three powerful words: End the Silence. This event happens each year at HHS and is sponsored by the GSA. On this day of silence, students who participate take a vow of silence not to talk throughout the day to raise awareness of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) issues in the Hopkinton High School Community.

GSA meets every Monday in HHS drama teacher and GSA supervisor Ms. Valerie Von Rosenvinge’s room. This year 120 students at HHS will be participating which is the largest amount of students that have ever participated in The Day of Silence.

GSA President, senior Alex Patterson describes Day of Silence as “a student led event where participants take a vow of silence to stand up for anti LGBTQ bullying and harassment on LGBTQ students”. The vow of silence that the students take represents the silencing effect that bullying and harassment has on LGBTQ students.

Patterson says ” A lot effort has gone into planning this event: designing t-shirts, organizing sign-ups, configuring shirt prices, getting everyone’s money in, and the day itself is actually a lot if work!” The morning of the day of silence, all the participants gather and have breakfast and then pledge their silence for the rest of the day.

At a weekly GSA meeting, “members post articles and things on the Internet to our Facebook group, and we usually bring up the issues found in the articles and discuss how we interpret them and share what our opinions are on these matters” Patterson says, “It’s so important for students struggling with their sexual orientation or gender to see that there is a support group in the school and their peers want to hear their voices.”

Every student has a different reason for why they participate in the Day of Silence.

Senior Benjamin Faucher participated in the Day of Silence because “I know how scarring bullying is, so I want to stop bullying however I can. This campaign brings awareness to other students that LGBT bullying does happen, and shows any students who may be silenced themselves that they don’t have to be silent; that there are people within their own school that they can talk to if they need it.”

Faucher believes that “the day of silence symbolizes how gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, etc. youths who are bullied in school because of their sexual orientation, are essentially “silenced” in their efforts to seek help and support. Whether they’re in or out of the closet, bullying can intimidate and hurt people enough that they feel like there’s no way to stop it, which is why they stay silent.”

Participating in her first Day of Silence, Patterson participates because “I want to help bring awareness to both anti LGBTQ bullying and the LGBTQ population in the school.”

Even though not being able to talk during the day is difficult for many students, Patterson feels that, “keeping the vow of silence is worth so much more than not being able to talk for a day.”

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