This Wednesday, many of our students went the whole day without saying a word. Classrooms, hallways and boarding houses were noticeably quieter, as over 160 students stayed silent to draw attention to human rights issues all over the world.
“It’s the biggest turnout we’ve ever had,” says co-organizer Emily Reid. “More and more people have caught on.”
The Day of Silence is an Amnesty International event that focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered harassment and bullying. Our students participate in support of this as well as other causes, including the silencing of political dissent and demand for social change. By not speaking in class or chatting with friends, the students are modeling the silence imposed on individuals all over the world who are unable to speak freely.
“We just want to raise awareness about human rights,” says Emily. “The Day of Silence is our big day.”
Now in its third year at SMUS, the Day of Silence is the largest event put on by the school’s Amnesty International club and a huge fundraiser for the organization. To mark the occasion, participants spent their lunch break playing group games, including Twister, and after school were invited to watch War/Dance, a documentary about Ugandan youth performing traditional dance.
“We just live such a free life,” says Emily. “I couldn’t imagine living any other way, but people all over the world do.”