Words: Miranda Mason
On Thursday, April 10, the Day of Silence (DOS) will take place at Centennial High School, a day earlier than the national DOS is scheduled to take place. The date was moved to Thursday due to a pep rally and Senior Takeover Day both being scheduled for Friday, April 11.
The DOS is a day set aside for students across the country to echo the silence lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face on a daily basis. The purpose of the movement is to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying and the silence that follows. It is an annual protest, and for the past three years, Centennial has had a pep rally scheduled on the same day as the nation-wide protest, a problem the Centennial Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) has attempted to prevent.
According to junior Hannah Kempton, who is co-president of the GSA, the administration was notified in the beginning of the school year that the DOS would be taking place in the spring in order to avoid a pep rally being scheduled for the same day. However, it was not until last month that the administration was told the exact date of the DOS, at which point Kempton was notified it was too late in the year to reschedule the pep rally and Senior Takeover Day to a time that would not overlap with the silent protest.
“Because of snow days and testing, the days that we have to schedule events are limited,” said Principal Claire Hafets. “We were going to try to move the pep rally to May, but it would have interfered with AP testing. We tried to reschedule for May 2, but the teachers were very concerned about instruction time for APs.”
According to Kempton, the GSA acknowledges that events are not intentionally scheduled for the same day as the DOS, but some people have become frustrated over the continual interference of noisy events, such as pep rallies, with a day that is meant to draw attention through silence.
“We’ve talked to the administration to no avail,” said senior and other co- President of the GSA Emily Bellor. “It’s a little offensive to the LGBTQ and ally community that this is one day and they can’t even give us that.”
Hafets agrees that the students should be able to have the DOS without a pep rally on the same day, and she is more than willing to take steps to prevent next year from becoming the fourth year in the string of conflicts.
“The students have every right to have the Day of Silence, and we will certainly respect that,” said Hafets.
According to Hafets, every year in August the school calendar is planned out, including the date for the spring pep rally. If the GSA can provide the date for the DOS while the calendar is being made, Hafets says the pep rally will absolutely be able to be scheduled around it.
Check out the video that the Wingspan Media Team created for the Day of Silence here.