>Disney Channel star Demi Lovato read about Jaheem Herrera's suicide and was personally moved to speak out. Herrera was the second 11-year-old to take his own life this month due to bullying and harassment using anti-gay taunts. Both boys were very young and neither was known to be gay.
Lovato started tweeting about her own experience with being bullied:
"I can't explain what I went through when I left public school to start homeschooling.. One day I will. But right now..."It honestly amazes me how schools refuse to take action in verbal abuse.. they SAY they do, but this what ends up happening. So, so sad.."
>Here's an ABC World News Tonight piece. Don't forget the Kleenex.
Print article from ABC News.
Philadelphia Daily News ran a similar piece about Carl and the Day of Silence
Here's an article from the Huffington Post about bullying. And the author asks, "maybe its time for the adults to start making some noise."
>Once your Day of Silence event is over make sure that you assess how it went. There are a variety of ways to ask people who participated how it went for them, from having a survey, to having a conversation. You can even do both.
Having a conversation allows people to tell their story in detail. Administering a survey allows you to collect quantitative data. The latter can be good for your school administrators. Both options can help you build upon your DOS activities for next year.
Here is a sample Day of Silence evaluation - download PDF here (1 page).
>In honor of the 13th Annual Day of Silence
>Oprah is No. 1, Ashton Kutcher is No. 2 and Day of Silence is No. 3!! And it's only midday.
>Really, I love Twitter. It's fast and informative and fun and I can follow all the issues important to me. These issues, of course, include bullying and harassment in schools, particularly that of LGBT students and allies. But today it's been hard to follow everything!
Today, as you know, is the National Day of Silence, and Twitter has exploded with DOS-related posts. (Click here to follow.) People all across the country and the world are tweeting about anti-LGBT bullying and harassment and are taking a stand by supporting the Day of Silence. Today is also Follow Friday, and Twitterers, Tweeters and Twits alike are endorsing DayofSilence in their posts! Right now DOS is the #3 most endorsed in all of the Twittervese, according to TopFollowFriday.com. Won't you help us climb to to the top? Go to your Twitter account and post #followfriday @dayofsilence and help get us to #1.
And make sure to join our TweetChat today at 3:30 PM Eastern.
It's already an amazing Day of Silence! Keep us in the loop and tell us what you're doing to end LGBT bullying in your school, and keep Tweeting the Silence!
>More details about what led an 11-year-old boy to take his own life in this ESSENCE.com article. Carl Walker-Hoover would have turned 12 tomorrow on the Day of Silence. He didn't identify as gay, and yet he was constantly harassed with anti-LGBT language. It's a tragic reminder of why ALL bullying must stop and why we have to train educators to identify and address anti-LGBT bullying.
Wear any color
Tweet the Silence
Silence your tweets
Blog the silence
Silence your blog
Whatever you do, be respectful, especially of others who are observing the Day of Silence, but bring attention to the issues of anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harrasment in schools.
Juggling between homework assignments, extracurricular activities, and organizing a Day of Silence can be a lot! There are so many students who tell me how they spent weeks preparing for the Day of Silence only to be unprepared the morning of their event. From Day of Silence t-shirts being dirty or wrinkled, to speaking cards getting lost, there are a number of ways that your last minute prepping can go awry.
So, double check your to-do list tonight and make sure you'll be set to run a smooth event tomorrow. Here are a few tips to help you in your last minute preparations:
1. Make a to-do list of last minute tasks
2. The night before your event call all of the people helping you organize to make sure everyone is on the same page
3. Find, wash, iron and otherwise make pretty all of your DOS paraphernalia
4. Print out all of the materials you will need
5. Make sure your camera battery is charged
6. Double check your to-do list
Ready, set, go!