Record Number Of Schools Observe Day Of Silence
Students from some 6,000 middle and high schoolsare taking part today in the 12th annual National Day of Silence to bringattention to anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender name-calling, bullyingand harassment.
This year the observance is being held this year in memory of Lawrence King, a15-year-old from Oxnard, Calif., who was shot and killed in school on Feb. 12because of his sexual orientation and gender expression.
"Young people from across the country haveheard about this horrible tragedy and are coming together on the Day of Silenceto 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 tohundreds of thousands of students that their schools and their world can besafer and more tolerant places."
Students taking part hand out 'speaking cards' explaining their action.
"Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence, a national youth movement protesting the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies in schools," the cards read.