A loud silence

Issue: Volume 98, Number 13

Posted: 2 August 2019
Reference #: 1H9wXu

Students and teachers will be silent for a day to make a big noise about the silencing effect of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and harassment in schools.

On Friday 16 August students and teachers will join their international counterparts in a Day of Silence anti-bullying campaign.

Since the campaign was launched in 2014, more than 85 New Zealand schools have taken part. The event aims to highlight the fact that many rainbow students face regular bullying – queer youth are three times more likely to be bullied than their heterosexual peers. 

“There has been no improvement over 10 years in the amount of bullying faced by queer youth in New Zealand schools,” says Tabby Besley, managing director of InsideOUT | Supporting LGBTQ across New Zealand. 

“Silence is a powerful tool of protest which illustrates the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on our students. People who chose to stay silent on this day are standing in solidarity with the wider rainbow community.” 

People can register at the Day of Silence website(external link) and download posters and resources such as talking cards, which explain why they are being silent.

How the Day of Silence helps

“I’ve participated in and organised Day of Silence at my school since 2015. To me it means community. It means bringing everybody together to show love for a group of people that have faced so much hate.” Ace Dalziel, Year 13

“Day of Silence was the first visible step towards raising awareness of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in my school, so a lot of students felt they were starting to be heard.” Auckland participant

“I felt it shed some light on issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community, or at least made people more aware of them. I find personally that Day of Silence makes me feel more accepted and less alone! It brings people together to stand up for people like me and that means a lot!” Waikato participant

“How accepting the local community is of LGBTQ was something that really warmed my heart. I loved seeing the wide range of people who I’d never have picked to join in an event like DoS.” Otago participant  

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 11:23 am, 2 August 2019

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