SJND Students Participate in National Day of Silence
On April 27, dozens of students took part in SJND’s Day of Silence, led by the Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School Us’s Club, whose mission is to educate the community on issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community in order to increase compassion and understanding. The Day of Silence is a national social organizing created at the University of Virginia in 1996 and recognizes all LGBTQ+ youth that have ever felt silenced in school due to bullying or feeling unsafe.
“LGTBQ+ students are statistically more likely to experience bullying, homelessness, and suicidal thoughts or actions. This is often because they feel unsupported and that they have no one to talk to about their struggles,” explained Lauren Sabia, SJND Counselor and Us’s Club Moderator. “The goal of the Us's Club in rejuvenating the Day of Silence is to bring awareness to these issues and also to build community so that every student on the SJND campus feels that they have someone to talk to or someone to turn to when they need help.”
Day of Silence participants pledged to remain silent all day to represent the erasure of the bullied students. This symbolic gesture represents the hardships many LGBTQ+ students face, such as feeling that they have no one to talk to or that they lack a voice in their community. All students were also welcome to participate in an activity in the Quad in which they were asked to Recognize, Empathize, Affirm and Commit to supporting their LGBTQ+ peers.
“The Day of Silence at SJND was a success in that it helped students to express themselves and build connections in their community. During our Silent Lunch, it was a challenge for participants not to speak to each other because of the friendship and camaraderie on the SJND campus,” said Ms. Sabia. “At our ‘Break the Silence at the Flagpole’ gathering at the end of the school day, students cheered and hugged each other. It was a special moment.”