Actions speak louder than words: Students take a day of silence against bullying

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Features Editor Ashley Quintela

On April 20, day to day high school life came to a halt. The amount of gossiping in the halls appeared to simmer, and the chaotic noise in the lunchroom did not seem to be as drastic. On that day, some students agreed to take a vow of silence to show support of the homosexual, lesbian, and transgender community.

Through this act, students hope to draw attention to bullying against homosexuals. Students express their concern by wearing buttons, t-shirts and bracelets. People take a day to contribute to the cause of vulgar remarks and other acts of unkindness aimed toward homosexuals, bisexual and transgendered students.

Many people believe that in order to participate in the event you have to be a homosexual, some feel that it has absolutely no point, and others wish the day was organized a little differently.

“I’m in the Gay Nebraska Youth Network, (GNYN) and Omaha does something along the lines where you talk about it rather than keep it bottle it up. It should be more of a day of action, more of a reflection, an experience of sharing about how you feel,” junior Toby Brooks said.

Though some feel the day does not help, others think it is a way to spread the message of bullying. Silence is the act in which people that encounter bullies each day of their lives feel the need to do.

The day of silence is not just a local event. This day is known throughout the nation. Colleges also partake. Dylan Zaner, a student at UNO, is also a member of the GNYN. Though he fully agrees with the purpose, he, along with several others, does not agree with the actions throughout the course of the day.

“We feel the day of silence is counterproductive to the actual cause. So instead we are doing a day of action to get people to rally and have fun. Why should a day like that be spent in silence and sadness?” Zaner said.

According to save.org, 30,000 people commit suicide each year. 10 to 14 teens take their own life due to harassment. Each year the levels of bullying increase, causing the end of many lives.

Sometimes standing up for yourself is hard, sophomore Jazmine Nicholas expressed, which creates an opportunity for bystanders to stand up for what is right.

It’s easy to go with the flow, but some lack the courage to speak out.

Individuality is a major part of the day. Instead of hiding who you are, students take the day to show confidence in who they are.

“[I participate] because people need to stand up for things even if it doesn’t make a difference. I’d rather have a group of people stand up for things and have it not work than have people not try at all,” sophomore Gaby Dobson said.

The fact that this day has to occur is sad. This group of individuals should not have only one day of respect, but throughout the whole year. Having a unique quality does not change who you are, but adds to your individualism.

Everyone is an individual. When people put others down just because they are different, all it proves is that the bully is weak and insecure.

Living in today’s world is somewhat of a challenge. “Wear this, do that.” Who cares if a boy likes another boy, or if a girls has feelings towards another girl, or even if a gender desires to one day become the opposite sex?

Though Bellevue West does not officially acknowledge the Day of Silence, they do not oppose it. In order to show their support of the bullied and stop the bullies, five students out of each GPS were asked to volunteer to release a single balloon after taking seven seconds of silence to consider how others feel.