Tomorrow: National Day of Silence 2009

glsen_articlesimage_large2400w200hnorm1NEW YORK, April 9, 2009 – An 11-year-old Massachusetts boy, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, hung himself Monday after enduring bullying at school, including daily taunts of being gay, despite his mother’s weekly pleas to the school to address the problem. This is at least the fourth suicide of a middle-school aged child linked to bullying this year. Full article at GLSEN

Carl did not identify as gay, but this tragedy serves as a reminder that anti-LGBT bullying can have devastating effects on all students, particularly during the vulnerable years of budding sexuality and peer pressure.

Carl would have turned 12 tomorrow, April 17, 2009 — the National Day of Silence.

Contrary to claims made by the religious right organizations and various members of their flocks, promoting homosexuality is not the purpose of the DoS. The purpose is simply to bring awareness of anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment, and to promote effective responses to it. It is not about allowing gay students to disrupt class for the day to promote a “homosexual agenda”, as many claim.

Students of all beliefs, backgrounds and sexual orientations participate in the Day of Silence.

When I called my son’s middle school, I was pleased to learn that they will recognize the DoS. An announcement will be made in the morning, and the event will take place during lunch. In an effort to counter some of the negative response they are sure to receive, I offered my thanks and support, and assured them that my son will be in attendance.

Rambling On will also recognize the National Day of Silence tomorrow, April 17, 2009. No new posts will be made, and comments will be held in moderation until the morning of April 18. I will change the settings now in case I’m unable to get back to it later, but I will do my best to check in and moderate comments before I shut down for the night. Comments made after around 7:00 p.m. Central Time will not likely be seen until the morning of the 17th, and will therefore be held in moderation until the following morning.

My heart goes out to the family of 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover and to all the other families and individuals who know first hand the harsh realities surrounding anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.

To those who have experienced the humiliation of being tormented simply for being who you are: You are valued, loved and appreciate by more people than you may ever realize. Your life is precious and other people’s lives are enriched by your presence in the world. Please be good to yourself — you deserve it!

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2009 Rambling On

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9 responses to “Tomorrow: National Day of Silence 2009

  • saintpaulgrrl

    To those who have experienced the humiliation of being tormented simply for being who you are: You are valued, loved and appreciate by more people than you may ever realize. Your life is precious and other people’s lives are enriched by your presence in the world. Please be good to yourself — you deserve it!

    Thank you, Lottie, for supporting an individual’s right to be who he or she is without fear of bullying and harassment. If only this concept of acceptance would someday come to pass!

  • Lottie

    If only this concept of acceptance would someday come to pass!

    Indeed. Sadly, I doubt we’ll be around to see the day. That doesn’t discourage me, though. I enjoy certain comforts and freedoms due to the struggles of previous generations, and I hope to pass a little comfort onto future generations.

    According to “John”, I’m going to be a grandma someday, so perhaps my grandchildren or their children will live in more accepting times. We can certainly hope.

  • “Bullies” and why they keep “bullying” regardless of age « psychopathy101

    […] added: In memory of: Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover Click Here and all the other children who have lost their lives to “bullying”. Needless violence […]

  • dam

    This is really sad. I didn’t even hear about this. I think it’s very progressive of your school to participate in the DoS.

  • Lottie

    Hi, Deb. I’ve been quite impressed with how progressive Minnesota is in general. Of course, I can only speak of the Twin Cities, but we love it and here! It feels more like home than Texas ever did, and I was born and raised there.

  • dam

    I went to the Twin Cities once a loooong time ago, but remember liking it. There was a public university there and the town was “walkable.” I’m so glad to hear you are enjoying it there! I hope you find lots of great opportunities! 🙂

  • Lottie

    It’s definitely pedestrian-friendly. We also have great public transportation, and a lot of the buses are hybrid! 😀

    Thanks for the well wishes.

  • Terra

    I haven’t been checking in as much lately, as I seem to be horribly busy… I missed the day of silence, didn’t realize it was even there. Thank you for putting some emphasis upon a very important topic…

    Beautifully worded as well.

  • Lottie

    Thank you, Terra. It’s always nice to hear from you. 🙂

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