The Smoke Signal

GSA hosts Day of Silence for LGBT students

Students+from+the+LGBTQ+club+hand+out+stickers+for+students+participating+in+the+Day+of+Silence+event+to+wear.
Students from the LGBTQ club hand out stickers for students participating in the Day of Silence event to wear.

Students from the LGBTQ club hand out stickers for students participating in the Day of Silence event to wear.

Molly Heintze

Molly Heintze

Students from the LGBTQ club hand out stickers for students participating in the Day of Silence event to wear.

Sarah Tamagny, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Not a sound echoes through the halls of Pascack Valley. Students, adorned in rainbow colored hearts and holding note cards walk to their next class.

On Friday, May 4, PV students observed the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network’s Day of Silence. The members of PV’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance had been working for weeks to put together the event that they are hoping will make a lasting mark on the school and community.

The Day of Silence is an annual event held in high schools all over the country. The event itself consists of students taking a vow of silence for one day to stand with LGBT students who feel erasure or silenced in schools. Students were encouraged to stay silent for the majority of the day, but also still participate in class, according to an email sent by PV Principal Tom DeMaio. Staying silent is a way to show empathy for students who feel out of place in their communities.

The Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) is a club ran by PV sophomores Alycia Gilb who is the president, Gus Koeniges, Isabella Tjan, and Hannah Epstein, and supervised by many teachers, including Jeff Jasper. The club is full of students on the LGBT spectrum as well as students who are not. The club allows a safe place for students of all genders and sexualities to come together and talk about different aspects of their lives.

The Day of Silence was open to any students who were interested. GSA members stood at the entrances of the school on Friday morning to hand out stickers to acknowledge participation, and also note cards, so people would know why a student was remaining silent.

“I definitely have struggled and still struggle with a sense of internalized homophobia,” Emily McAuliffe, PV junior and a member of the club, said. “Having a sense of pride in the school has meant a lot to help me overcome that, and I feel like the Day of Silence is acknowledging the importance of a community.”

According to GLSEN’s website, nearly nine in 10 LGBT students experience a form of verbal harassment in their school careers. Club members believe that participating in this event was a way to stand up for themselves and their peers who do not feel like their voices are being heard.

“The Day of Silence to me is representing students who go to schools that aren’t as accepting as PV and people who feel like they can’t be open about their sexuality,” Gilb said. “Also, it raises awareness of the bullying of LGBT students.”

Members of the club hope that participating in this event will bring more awareness to LGBT issues. Koenigs hopes that people at PV will become more supportive of their LGBT peers.

“Walking through the hallways, you hear certain terms and words that shouldn’t be used in 2018,” Koenigs said. “So I just hope that people start realizing that there are issues and we’re here.”

If you want to learn more about this event and how you can support your LGBT peers in other ways, check out https://www.glsen.org/ for more information.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 Comments

2 Responses to “GSA hosts Day of Silence for LGBT students”

  1. Jordyn Puzzo on May 6th, 2018 5:34 pm

    ilysfm

  2. AJ Helfenbein on May 6th, 2018 7:42 pm

    Really wasn’t that quiet. Not trying to be mean but why lie. Honestly was one of the louder days of the school year.

Both first and last name must be included in order for your comment to be approved.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • GSA hosts Day of Silence for LGBT students

    News

    Mercury found in dance room and weight room

  • GSA hosts Day of Silence for LGBT students

    News

    Smoke Signal nominated for GSSPA Awards

  • GSA hosts Day of Silence for LGBT students

    News

    Online gradebook temporarily closed during school hours

  • GSA hosts Day of Silence for LGBT students

    News

    From garden to classroom

  • GSA hosts Day of Silence for LGBT students

    News

    Veteran PV teacher takes charge as English Department Supervisor

  • GSA hosts Day of Silence for LGBT students

    News

    District removes two teaching positions and phases out program

  • GSA hosts Day of Silence for LGBT students

    News

    Teachers discuss Standards-Based Grading in their classrooms

  • GSA hosts Day of Silence for LGBT students

    News

    Smoke Signal Film Festival highlighted by Zack Latteri documentary

  • GSA hosts Day of Silence for LGBT students

    News

    Buzzing about bees

  • GSA hosts Day of Silence for LGBT students

    News

    The Smoke Signal to host film festival

Pascack Valley High School's Official News Site: Where there's smoke, there's fire.
GSA hosts Day of Silence for LGBT students