Nearly 100 observed Day of Silence

Day of Silence participants handed out carnations signifying friendship.

Last Friday more than 90 Concord High School students took part in a national protest against LGBT bullying by pledging to not talk for an entire school day.
During the Day of Silence participants scribbled furiously on white boards to communicate and sent each other carnation flowers signifying friendship. They broke the silence at the end of the day, on the steps outside the auditorium, with screams of celebration.
English teacher Heather Oullette-Cygan, advisor to CHS’ Tide Pride, a LGBT- alliance club, shared the importance of observing the Day of Silence. “It’s a message of support for each other. Students supporting other students is the most powerful way to stop bullying.”
Students admitted to struggling to keep their mouths shut. Some slipped up.
“A lot of people tend to break the silence in the middle of the day because they can’t go through with it. I have slipped up, but mostly grumbles and laughter,” said junior Peter Newland.
Freshman Sangita Nuli, interviewed before this year’s observance, expressed confidence or at least hopefulness that she’d be able to go an entire day without chatting.

“I think it may be hard, but if you remember what it’s supporting, it’s doable,” she said.

Students were obligated to speak in classes if necessary.
The Day of Silence, which began in 1996, remains the largest student-led action towards making schools safer regarding sexual orientation. The main purpose of the event is to raise awareness of the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying in schools across America.
“There are still students who get bullied and aren’t out, and this brings attention to that,” Oullette-Cygan explained.
“I feel like I personally accomplished something,” said Newland.
“I like what it represents. It gives justice and a voice to someone who is afraid to speak out, a collective school-wide voice,” added Nuli.