Friday, April 16th is the National Day of Silence.
Participants in the Day of Silence take a vow of silence to bring attention to the name-calling, bullying, and harassment that in effect silence students in our educational communities. The types of bullying being addressed are attacks against people based on their expressed or perceived sexual orientation.
Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, an 11-year-old from Massachusetts, hung himself last April after enduring bullying at school, including daily taunts of being gay. His mother's weekly pleas to the school to address the problem did not stop this tragedy.
The goal of the Day of Silence is to make our school a safer place for all students.
Two important points:
1.) The West Ottawa Public School District does not sponsor or support the Day of Silence, but recognizes our students First Amendment rights to freedom of expression.
2.) Students do not have the right to remain silent during class time. They must participate in class if asked to by a teacher.