Cedarbrook Students Participate in Day of Silence in Support of LGBTQ+ Youth
(April 7, 2022) Cedarbrook Middle School students are sounding off by being silent for the day in support of the LGBTQIA+ community. Over 150 students - members of the LGBTQIA+ community and allies - registered to participate in the school’s student-led Day of Silence to bring awareness to bullying and discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community.
Students took a silence pledge asking them and others to reflect on the voices they are not hearing from throughout the day, and wore stickers indicating to their classmates their choice to remain silent.
CBS3’s Howard Monroe interviewed Gender Sexuality Alliance student activists Adora Abdul, Gali Nussbaum, and Ingrid Kary alongside their advisor Caitlin Pen.
“Just because this is a heavy topic for middle school students, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about it,” said Abdul in her interview with CBS.
Students attended a “Break the Silence” rally to end their day, where they reflected on the experience.
“People kept asking me if I was staying silent because I’m gay. The answer is no, I wanted to participate to show my support for everyone in the community, not just people like me,” said Josh, a student who participated in the protest.
Most students expressed difficulty with staying silent all day, but ultimately felt the cause was more important than talking to their friends.
“This is a form of civil disobedience, a lot of LGBTQ+ people go everyday hearing micro-aggressions and don’t always feel comfortable or confident enough to say something. Your silence is powerful, that’s what today is all about,” said Cedarbrook Principal Craig Metcalfe.
Started in the mid 1990s by two college students, Day of Silence has expanded to reach hundreds of thousands of students each year. Every April, students go through the school day without speaking, ending the day with Breaking the Silence rallies and events to share their experiences during the protest and bring attention to ways their schools and communities can become more inclusive.