No words for acceptance

NPHS Gay-Straight Alliance members protest in silence


Gracia Lantis

Sophomore Sophia Walsh poses for a picture on the Day of Silence.“It’s good to show people, even if they don’t agree with what you’re doing, that you’re going to stand up for the things that you believe in,” she said.

Going an entire day without speaking would be difficult, if not impossible for most people. But on April 12, NPHS Gay-Straight Alliance members joined other young people across the nation in a day-long muted protest.

The Day of Silence was a student-led event in which students took a vow of silence to highlight the suppression of LGBTQ people at school.

Sophomore Sophia Walsh said that participating students spent the school day soundless. When teachers and friends questioned them, they were handed a card that gave an overview of the movement, some statistics about the abuse LGBTQ students are subject to at school, and a reminder to readers that they can break the silence by making their school more inclusive for all.

NPHS students found out about the idea through the GSA club. “I wanted to do it because it sounded like a good idea, like something I would stand up for,” sophomore Nathan Morris said.

Senior Quincey Epley, GSA leader, feels like experiencing mistreatment at school has made her a more reserved person. “The purpose was to demonstrate the silencing effect that bullying and harassment at school can have,” she said, “I’ve experienced that.”

Walsh and Morris understand and are grateful for the opportunity to express themselves. “It’s good to show people, even if they don’t agree with what you’re doing, that you’re going to stand up for the things that you believe in,” Walsh said. Walsh feels like most of her peers were supportive of her protest.

Morris supports rights for everyone. “If people aren’t being treated fairly, then I want to be someone who does something about it,” he said.

The Day of Silence was hosted by the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network, an education-based organization working to end discrimination, harassment, and bullying based on sexual orientation. Students and teachers across the country took part in the movement in hopes of bringing awareness to the topic.

Morris said that even after the Day of Silence ended, the protest didn’t, and neither did the fight for acceptance. “This gives a little bit of hope that maybe people can express themselves in our school, and not have to hide who they are,” he said.