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PFLAG Westminster – Carroll County, Maryland Chapter

Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays - Moving Equality Forward
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A show of support with silence

Students in Liberty High School’s Allies Club and others who participated in last week’s National Day of Silence can be proud of their efforts to bring awareness to the problem of bullying and for standing up for their fellow students.

On

Friday, about 70 students remained silent for the entire day as a way to show support for the unheard voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network began the day in 2001 to encourage students to speak out against harassment through silence.

While the students said they received an overwhelming amount of support from their classmates, they also saw their share of hatred.

Name-calling, rudeness and general disrespect were among the things that the students from some of their fellow students. The bad behavior isn’t limited to Liberty. Schools across the county for years have been trying to heighten awareness about the problems associated with bullying.

Sexual orientation is just one flashpoint. A person’s religion, their nationality, even the clothes they wear or the people who they hang out with serve as targets for potential bullies.

The students who participated can take away a lot of positives from their experience though. First, they spent the day showing support for others. Second, many of their classmates also took the time to stand up for them and show their support.

Bringing together people in this manner is something that ultimately will help the entire school population. Even those who spent the day bullying the participants served a purpose by showing that there is still much work to do before everyone in society is treated equally.

Perhaps a few of those calling names or otherwise behaving rudely reflected on their behavior later. If even just one or two looked back at what they did and decided that perhaps their response wasn’t the best, then the participants made some headway.

We live in a society where we encounter people different from us every day. Our ability to interact with each other in a civil way, despite those differences, is what helps bind us all together and make us stronger in our diversity as a community.

High school is a difficult time. Everyone, it seems, just wants to fit in. That need for inclusion is felt by everyone, and the students who took part in the Day of Silence should be commended for their efforts to bring more people together and eliminate bullying from their school.

 

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