Day of Silence disrupts education

Andrew Friel, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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For years, the Westford Academy Gay-Straight Alliance has been hosting the Day of Silence, which will be paired with a fundraising event. This years event will occur on March 21st. The silence portion of the day is to draw awareness to the oppression of those within the LGBT community by staying silent in support. However, I feel that this day actually takes away from the cause rather than encouraging it.

I genuinely do understand the concept that there is a portion of the LGBT community is marginalized, especially in regions where people are not as accepting as Westford and New England in general. In fact, I am in support of this cause, because everyone deserves to be treated fairly and equally no matter who they are or who they love.

My issue with this day comes in the fact that it serves to interrupt education rather than bring awareness to its main cause.

Students are unable to participate in class discussion, group work, or even in-class presentations. This creates a slowdown in their fellow students’ educational progress and causes the masses to be against the cause on the basis of the interruption.

This interruption to education actually takes away from the productive message of the movement because it creates an inconvenience to the demographic that the GSA is trying to reach; those who are not within the community or do not currently consider themselves an ally to said community.

Furthermore, this is an event that may actually draw in students just looking to avoid class obligations, rather than those who are sympathetic to the day’s cause. This would take away from the seriousness that this event must have in order to be effective, and therefore would cheapen the event down to something students use to skip class and avoid unwanted assignments.

I would suggest to the GSA stick to a fundraising event that would go to organizations such as The Family Equality Council, Human Rights Campaign, and others that help support these groups who have been largely marginalized in American society. This would help have more of an effect on the community as a whole rather than hosting the day at all.

If this event shifts it’s focus to only the fundraising in the coming years, I have a feeling more students would be willing to involve themselves in the cause. They could make this a example for all groups looking to make a statement for a worthy cause; to gain support, you must not negatively affect those you are trying to get attention from.