Sara Whitman

Update on Day of Silence

Filed By Sara Whitman | April 12, 2008 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, The Movement
Tags: Day of Silence, gay-bashing, hate crimes against LGBT people, LGBT community, middle school, proud parents, silent protest

I spoke with the teachers and they are very excited to have Zachary do this and want me to come in and explain to the class what Zachary is doing and why. They asked that Zachary wait till the Friday following vacation week so parental notification fliers can be sent out.

The reality even in as progressive a school district as Newton, MA, is that one of the only things that require notification is discussion of gay families.

I said I'd ask Zachary. The national day falls on a day when they are all on vacation. Could he wait until the week after?

He agreed. I explained that I would come in and talk to his class. He nodded seriously, Sounds good.

I'm watching my son who was so shy at one point, he didn't say a word when his bus driver didn't stop at his house and drove him to the depot, parked and left without checking the seats. A boy we held back from starting kindergarten because he wouldn't ask a teacher out loud for more snack or raise his hand during morning circle. A boy who would hide behind me when relatives came to visit, taking so long to speak up his older cousin would ask, Where's the little one?

A silent protest fits him well.

Proud? More than proud.

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As sad as this makes me:

The reality even in as progressive a school district as Newton, MA, is that one of the only things that require notification is discussion of gay families.

It makes me just as glad to hear that Zachary is still going to be able to participate like he wants.

Way to go Zachary. Quiet resolve can move mountains!

Early in my son Shawn's transition (14)he was asked to represent trans youth on a float in the LA Pride Parade and he accepted. Mind you this is a kid who would vomit if asked to recite a 4 line poem in front of classmates.

He was the only really young transperson available so he stepped up and represented the youth on the float. I was very proud.

Imagine my distress when I found out that one of the older transfolks who had been on the float with him critized him because she felt he was not 'excited or enthusiastic enough.' He was only 14 and just recently started transition...geez

He said to me, mom, I am working so hard to just be myself, I'm trying to do the right thing for the right reasons and this is what I get? What's up with that?

You just tell Zachary from me and my son Shawn that quiet people get things done that us big mouths can't. Tell him we are proud of him for standing up for what he believes in.

It is really important that we support our young budding activists no matter what their style is, eh?

I believe that most of the Massachusetts GSA's are doing the day of silence either on April 16th or April 30th, because of school vacation week. Newton North High School is doing theirs on Wednesday, April 30th if he wants to be doing it the same day as the other Newton youth.

Hey Gunner, I need some Florida information for one of my parents and I can't find your email addy. Can you email me at [email protected] ?


Way to go Zachary. Silent protest, indeed. Good for him!

for next year, Gunner, we'll be more prepared. The notification will take a couple days and with the principal not back until the 28th, I'm not sure we can pull if off in unison.

who knows, next year he may want to protest vegetables with dinner.