Qualitative Summary of Day of Silence Efforts 2017
Day of Silence was celebrated in two Delaware County High Schools during the month of April. Each school, Buckeye Valley and Delaware Hayes saw large success and support from multiple school and community entities. Violence Prevention Program Manager, Amy Hawthorne coordinated events between the two sites to ensure countywide efforts, increase awareness, and message continuity. The Gay Straight Alliances at both sites worked with county youth-led initiatives to build capacity and support of national efforts.
Each site had a unique take on the day but the similarities included a “blackout,” where students dressed in all black to show their solidarity. Student leaders at both sites passed out black and white “ally” bracelets, equality buttons, and transequalty buttons to participating students. Supporting school administrators wore either all black or a black “ally” t-shirts. Students at both high schools created morning announcements leading up to the event, hung posters, and created informational sheets for teachers to read. Students also remained silent for the entirety of the day; both sites utilized whiteboards if communication was needed.
Buckeye Valley recognized National Day of Silence on April 28th, 2017 instead of the GLSEN sponsored day of April 21st. April 21st coincided with BVHS’s prom and student leaders intentionally changed the date to ensure participation and DOS acknowledgment. Hayes High School students participated on the nationally recognized day. Students at Hayes also held a “Breaking the Silence” party at the end of the school day, where they celebrated their achievements and success, teachers and administrators attended as well. For the party, students were able to obtain food donations from five local restaurants. Buckeye Valley High School plans on holding a celebratory party in May at the end of their school and exam schedule.