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12th Annual National Day of Silence Honors the Memory of Slain Lawrence King

Hundreds of Thousands of Students to participate in Day of Silence for Safer Schools

NEW YORK, April 25, 2008: This year’s National Day of Silence will be held in memory of Lawrence King, a 15-year-old California student who was shot and killed at school in February by a 14-year-old classmate because of King’s sexual orientation and gender expression.

The Day of Silence is held by students every year to bring attention to anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) name-calling, bullying and harassment. The senseless tragedy at E.O. Green Junior High in Oxnard, Calif., brings even more meaning to a day that has brought hope to millions of students.

Hundreds of thousands of students are expected to participate by taking some form of a vow of silence for the entire day or part of it. Their efforts will be supported by hundreds of community-based "Breaking the Silence" events at the end of the day. Together, concerned students will create a powerful call to action in order to prevent future tragedies.

Students hand out speaking cards during the Day of Silence that read:

"Silent for Lawrence King:
Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence (DOS), a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment. This year’s DOS is held in memory of Lawrence King, a 15 year-old student who was killed in school because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today."


There are simple steps that all schools can take to make schools safer for all students and to end the endemic name-calling and harassment that LGBT students and their allies face every day. We need to act now so that Lawrence King and the countless others who endure anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment will not be forgotten, and so that we can create an enduring legacy of safer schools for all in their names.

GLSEN’s 2005 National School Climate Survey found that four out of five LGBT students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school and 29% report missing at least a day of school in the past month out of fear for their personal safety. The Day of Silence is one way students and their allies are making anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and name-calling unacceptable in America’s schools.

About the Day of Silence
The Day of Silence, a project of GLSEN, is a nationwide, student-led event during which thousands of high schools and colleges bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. For more information and a complete collection of organizing materials, visit www.dayofsilence.org.

Posted: 3/24/08