Imagine a class full of high school geometry students taking a make-up test. Outside in the courtyard they can hear a kid yelling.
“Dennis. Hey Dennis. Dennis. Dennis. Hey Dennis. Dennis.”
“What the Hell do you want?”
“You’re a fag.”
The silence of the test was broken but kids trying not to laugh.
Pretty random. They’re best friends. That is just the way high school (and older) guys talk to each other. Forget scolding me about being politically correct. They shouldn’t say fag but they do. These are the same kids who did the LBGT day of silence in support of their friends. Yes, this is real life so there are a lot of mixed signals, missed messages and all kinds of things going on.
Random yelling can always be heard echoing through the high school halls during class:
I’m not retarded.
I love you.
You’re Effing stupid.
And more common that you think.
“I’ll show you my truck.”
“Did you get your license?”
“No. I’m only fifteen.”
Also heard in sophomore English.
Student: Is Africa a country or a continent?
Teacher: A continent.
Student: Africa is so violent that I thought it was just one big country.
Teacher: That has nothing to do with it being a country or a continent. Africa has many countries.
Student: But everyone there looks the same.
Teacher: Don’t say things like that. It’s racist. Besides, everyone who is white probably looks the same to them.
What the girl didn’t know was that there is a white kid in the class who is from South Africa and a black kid who has parents from Nigeria sitting two seats down.
Then in World History Emily (we’ve talked about her before) said: I don’t use Yahoo because it is run by Jews. I only use Google.
Another girl: Excuse me? What are you talking about.
Emily: You know Neten-Yahoo the guy who runs Israel. That’s why they call it Yahoo.
At that point everyone was yelling at Emily to shut up.
And yes, all of these kids were required to take Geography last year. No, I’m not making any of this up.
But back to the Day of Silence
A true Ally actively combats anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.
My daughter told me that today is The Day of Silence. The kids learned about it in school. She is an Ally.
Visible Allies are priceless for LGBT students, especially if they’re dealing with anti-LGBT issues at school. Allies can sometimes stand up and support change in ways that LGBT-identified students can’t.
Being an Ally is about standing shoulder to shoulder with LGBT students against anti-LGBT language, bullying and harassment in our schools.
THinkB4YouSpeakLGBT teens hear anti-LGBT remarks throughout the school day, creating an atmosphere where they feel disrespected, unwanted and unsafe.
Anti-LGBT remarks such as “that’s so gay” are often unintentional and a common part of teens’ vernacular. Most do not recognize the consequences, but the casual use of this language often carries over into more overt harassment.
This campaign aims to raise awareness about the prevalence and consequences of anti-LGBT bias and behavior in America’s schools. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce and prevent the use of anti-LGBT language in an effort to create a more positive environment for LGBT teens. The campaign also aims to reach adults, including school personnel and parents; their support of this message is crucial to the success of efforts to change behavior.
Talk to your kids about it. If they’re straight I bet they have gay friends. If they’re gay support them and their gay and straight friends. They all have both. It just doesn’t matter anymore – it shouldn’t matter.
Day of Silence (April 17, 2015)
Silence can create change!
That’s why every year hundreds of thousands of students across the world take a vow of silence on a Friday in April. This quiet but powerful, student-led action raises awareness about the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and discrimination.
Anyone can organize a Day of Silence activity or event, and it can be a powerful way to band together and take a stand. Learn more about how to register, organize, what your rights are, and what to do if those rights aren’t being respected.
Strength in numbers. Solidarity in silence.
If you have kids in your life (or someone who acts like a kid) talk to them about stuff. You know, just stuff. Talk and keep the dialogue going about everything. Not just hot button issues but everything. Encourage them to be curious and to see the big picture. Talk to them about not just blurting out anything that comes into their head. And yes, sometimes there are stupid questions.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman