‘N Sync’s Lance Bass Films Day of Silence PSA to Help Promote Tolerance
Students from a record 6,500 middle and high schools have registered as participants in GLSEN’s 12th annual National Day of Silence on Friday to bring attention to anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender name-calling, bullying and harassment. The event is being held this year in memory of Lawrence King, a 15-year-old from Oxnard, Calif., who was shot and killed in school on Feb. 12 because of his sexual orientation and gender expression.
Hundreds of thousands of students are expected to participate, from middle school to college.
“Young people from across the country have heard about this horrible tragedy and are coming together on the Day of Silence to show their support for safe schools for all students,” said Kevin Jennings, executive director of GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, the event’s national sponsor. “The Day of Silence brings hope to hundreds of thousands of students that their schools and their world can be safer and more tolerant places.
“Created by students, organized by students and led by students, the Day of Silence is a perfect example of the progress that can come about when people rally around a positive message.”
Students from the University of Virginia created the Day of Silence in 1996. GLSEN became national sponsor in 2001. Students from nearly 5,000 schools registered as participants last year.
Lawrence King’s murder has brought renewed attention to the bullying problem in schools, prompting former ‘N Sync singer Lance Bass to film a PSA about the Day of Silence (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah5eUz6iT9s).
"I am honored to help raise awareness about the National Day of Silence on April 25," Bass said. "This year’s event is particularly important because of the recent murder of 15-year-old Lawrence King. Every student deserves to feel safe in school, and I hope my name and voice can help inspire others to support this cause."
Like many LGBT youth, King endured regular bullying and harassment because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. Four out of five LGBT youth experience harassment in school because of their sexual orientation every year, according to GLSEN’s 2005 National School Climate Survey.
Learn more at www.dayofsilence.org.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established nationally in 1995, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. For more information on our educator resources, research, public policy agenda, student organizing programs or development initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.