Hushed Hallways

Jennifer Fowler, Staff Reporter

To most, the Day of Silence is a day where students simply walk through halls being quiet. But to some, the national Day of Silence is a day where they can give students who are bullied for being gay, lesbian, or bisexual empowerment.

The event began nationwide in 1996 and takes place in middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities around the nation, having students abstain from talking for one entire day, for the people who have to be silent about who they are.

Approximately, 100 students at McCluer North participated on April 20th. Freshman Paige Scott was one of the many students who participated.

“I think it’s a good thing because name calling is not where it’s at,” Scott said. “Bullying is very childish and petty.”

Scott believes everyone should participate in the Day of Silence, and says that she thinks the bully should have to be quiet for one day, to give the victims a break.

She also thinks the school is pretty good at enforcing anti-bullying. “I don’t really see bullies. Everyone’s in their own little world.”
If Scott could take a stand against bullying, she says, “I would bully the bullies. They need to see how it feels.”

Senior Wesley Cox seems to feel more strongly about the subject; his mother is lesbian, and he has several gay friends.

“It’s an opportunity for homosexuals to be encouraged to be open with themselves and let them know they’re accepted,” Cox said. “This is personal to me. I have a lot of gay friends and they shouldn’t be seen as second-class citizens.”

Cox does not feel everyone should support the Day of Silence.

“Only if you really support it. But don’t go along with it just because everyone else is doing it.”

Cox also feels the school does a pretty good job at stopping bullying, and if he could take a stand against it, he says he’d create more awareness.

“If you’re a certain way you should accept it, even if ridicule comes. Suppressing who you are hurts you,” he says.

To Malik Jones, the Day of Silence is “standing up for kids that feel like they can’t be themselves because of bullies.” The sophomore thinks people don’t have the right to tell someone who they should and shouldn’t be.

“I know a lot of people who feel bad because of this and I’ve heard of the suicides because of it. It’s not right,” he says.

He agrees not everyone should take part, because a lot of the participants don’t do it for the right reasons. Jones says, “I do see some bullying. But not as much as they make it seem on TV.”

To take a stand against bullying, Jones would get all of his friends involved, and let it be known that there’s bullying and it needs to be stopped.

Sophomore Shane Walton has several gay family members and the day is special to him.

“It’s a day to be quiet for people who are gay. I have a lot of family members who are, and it hurts their feelings when you call them that.”
He says, “I don’t think everyone should support this. People who made fun of people like that shouldn’t get the privilege to be silent all day.”

Walton doesn’t see much bullying around the school and to take a stand against it he says, “I would make it to where if someone got caught bullying they’d get suspended for 10 days and a hearing.”

Many people are hurt by the dehumanizing and ridicule put on by certain students. So many have to be left voiceless because they’re afraid to express who they are. The Day of Silence encourages students to have a positive look at themselves and many have their chance for a day each year in April.