Friday is National Day of Silence. DOS is a day when students nationwide vow to take some form of silence in order to support and raise awareness about LGBT kids who undergo the oppressive and painful experience of being bullied for who they are, and, to avoid harassment, are forced into silence to hide themselves and facilitate their lifestyle. Deerfield’s DOS isn’t just about LGBT bullying, but bullying and harassment of any kind, because there is never a time when it is acceptable. Every type of bullying is hurtful and needs to be stopped.
Whether it means being completely silent and uncommunicative in order to come to a better understanding of what it’s like to live in secrecy, simply not speaking to show your support, or vocally raising awareness about DOS, you can show that you don’t support bullying.
While silence is powerful, the GSA understands that it can be difficult not to speak all day. Maybe you have an oral exam, sports practice, or littles. No pressure, we get it. The point of DOS isn’t to torture yourself, but to get a better understanding of what it can be like to be bullied and to raise awareness about not using derogatory and bullying words. If you are being silent on the DOS and find it challenging to remain silent, don’t stress. You can participate in the day by being silent, a vocal supporter, or simply raising awareness about this important issue and educating your peers.
The GSA has been making stickers that you can wear to let people know that you are a vocal or silent supporter; the stickers will be given out tonight at sit-down dinner, and tomorrow morning before breakfast. We will also have a couple blank stickers so you can create your own.
While it isn’t mandatory to be silent all day, we ask students and faculty to please respect the choice of silence and not pressure participants to talk or communicate, as this can be a frustrating and annoying thing to deal with when taking part in DOS. If you want to know why your friend is being quiet or simply want to know more, please don’t harass them into speaking. Instead, ask a vocal supporter or check out the DOS website.
Please contact the GSA officers or Mr. Ahbel for more information.