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GLSEN Day of Silence


WHEREAS, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) strives to have students be valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; and

WHEREAS, in 1996, students at the University of Virginia organized the first Day of Silence in response to a class assignment on non-violent protests, with more than 150 students participating; and

WHEREAS,in 1997, organizers took their to the effort national level, and nearly 100 colleges and universities participated; and

WHEREAS, in 2001, GLSEN became the official organizational sponsor for the event; and

WHEREAS,students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBTQ behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBTQ students and those perceived to be LGBTQ; and

WHEREAS, according to the GLSEN’s 2015 National School Climate Survey, only 22.4% of LGBTQ students were taught positive representations about LGBTQ people, history, or events in their schools, and 85.2% of LGBTQ students experienced verbal harassment; and

WHEREAS,the Day of Silence helps bring us closer to making anti-LGBTQ bullying, harassment and name-calling unacceptable in schools;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 27, 2018, as GLSEN DAY OF SILENCE in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.