Exuberant learning at Middle School Day of Silence and Noise
Today was the annual Day of Silence, observed in schools across the country to bring attention to the harassment LGBTQ+ students can experience.
In Gordon's Middle School, the day is recognized as a Day of Silence and Noise with interdisciplinary teach-ins and workshops.
It was a lot of work.
It was a lot of fun.
Students raided Gordon’s library to curate an exhibit of LGBTQ+-affirming children’s literature, with handwritten recommendations and reviews.
They assembled a human timeline of LGBTQ+ history.
They reflected silently on the power of silence and the power of noise.
They researched anti-trans legislation and presented their findings to one another in faux newscasts.
Along the way, they were practicing researching, summarizing, debating and presenting information, much of it taken directly from current headlines.
At Middle School meeting, faculty and staff led a conversation about courage.
Then, they demonstrated it, sharing stories from their own lives when they were challenged to show courage.
This is the seventeenth year Gordon's Middle School has participated in this national event.
A lot of history has happened over those seventeen years, and the tone of the day has evolved as well.
Gay marriage is no longer in the headlines, but drag bans and bathroom bills are.
Even when the subject matter the students were discussing was complex, there was an irrepressible positive energy.
Much of that energy was channeled into the afternoon Pride parade.
Some of the messages students presented were political.
Some were complicated.
But there was also a purity of spirit.
These students understood the stakes in the conversation about identity and civil rights.
But they also appreciated the joy involved.
It’s fun to be allowed to be yourself.
And it’s liberating to allow others to be themselves, too.
More on the national Day of Silence at www.glsen.org/day-of-silence