Friday, April 15, 2011

The Sound of Silence

My teens are participating in the National Day of Silence today. They have chosen to not speak in an effort to bring attention to anti-LGBT name calling, bullying and harassment in their school. I am proud of them for having made this choice.

My eldest told me that there were a lot of students discussing it earlier in the week to determine whether or not they would participate and if so, what level of participation they planned to engage in. She said that while the vast majority of students - even those who had opted out of participation - were treating it respectfully, there was a handful who announced their intention to "talk extra loud".

Now I get choosing not to participate.

And I get not agreeing with the cause. (Ok, I don't really get that. But I'm trying to be respectful.)

But I do NOT get standing up in support of bullying.

The idea behind this day is not acceptance of LGBT lifestyles (although that would be nice, too...). The idea is to protest the active bullying of people based upon the lifestyle choices that they have made or are perceived as having made. By making a conscious decision to "talk extra loud" on this day, they are making clear their support of bullying - not their objections to a lifestyle choice.

It saddens me - and frightens me - that anyone would stand up for this cause. I try to be tolerant - because it's hard to preach tolerance with intolerance - but sometimes it's difficult. Westboro Baptist makes it difficult. People who actively support bullying make it difficult. How does one find it in one's heart to tolerate that?

I hope my girls, their classmates, and the many students across the nation who are participating in this have a very successful day. I hope they make their point, because what a lovely way to make it - not with hate speech, but with silence.



Julie said...

I think they are "talking extra loud" about supporting GLBT rights and against bullying. I recognize that I couldn't shut my trap for a day--because it's supposed to include texting, emailing, blogging, etc.

But I too, will "talk extra loud" about the importance of acceptance and understanding. And how wrong it is to accept bullying of any kind. That includes the "innocent" gay joke. A joke at someone's expense isn't really funny. I don't tolerate the phrase "that's so gay." What's that supposed to mean?

So I respect those who are silent today and I will be right there to speak up and explain why they are silent and deserve our respect.

Rosa said...

I certainly hope these morons are not talking extra loud in actual support of bullying. My guess would be that they are just having a knee-jerk reaction to the life-style choice and not thinking of the bigger implication. (I mean, they can't REALLY be thinking, Yay Bullies, can they?) There is ignorance everywhere and it's sad that they are being so mindlessly hateful and defiant. Good for your girls and the majority of their classmates for actually using their brains, having rational thought and supporting something they believe in.

Anonymous said...

Your girls are wonderful. What a great day! I hope those who are talking extra loud can learn something from those that are silent.

Unknown said...

You have every right to be proud of your girls. Kudos to them for actively supporting this cause.

Gibby said...

God, sometimes kids (and people in general) really tick me off. I have no tolerance for bullying. Kudos to your wonderful girls. I can't wait to hear how their day went...