200 Milken students participate in Gay-Straight Alliance Day of Silence

Day of Silence participators
Students participate in the Day of Silence. From left to right: Hannah Low, Rachel Rosenfeld, Olivia Derin, and Soraya Vaezi. Photo by Ms. Monteleone.

Rachel Chistyakov

Voices Editor

On Friday, November 18, almost 200 Milken students participated in the Day of Silence. Sponsored by the Gay-Straight Alliance Club (GSA), the Day of Silence is meant to help people reflect on the challenges faced by people all over the world who are too afraid to come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, or transgender. Participants in the Day of Silence refrained from speaking all day in order to show empathy and support for those who have no voice in terms of their sexuality.

The students who signed up to participate in the Day of Silence picked up their participation stickers at 7:30 and remained silent until the end of the school day. Students resorted to sign language as communication, and many of the silent students sat together in a “silent zone” in the amphitheater during lunch.

“It wasn’t easy but it was worth every minute. I think all of us really worked together to send out a message to the public,” Ofri Aharon ’12 said.

The GSA sees this year’s Day of Silence as extremely successful. Milken’s silence even made it to the Jewish Journal. The event is part of a larger program for the Day of Silence, and Milken’s own Day of Silence was just homage to the official day, which will take place on April 20, 2012.

“I’m really proud of the GSA and the work that they put in to make the day a success. They helped build awareness about such an important issue,” Ms. Stephanie Monteleone, health teacher and faculty advisor for the GSA, said.

While the GSA is extremely proud of the students who participated in the Day of Silence, it has already started the process of planning the event for next year. It also plans to create other events on campus in the near future to continue to raise awareness.