Words: Shalini Malhotra
From April 7 to April 10, Centennial celebrated Ally Week as a way to encourage students to join together against the harassment and bullying of students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).
The purpose of the event is to celebrate the LGBT community as well as to create an environment that which promotes acceptance schoolwide. The week is associated with The Day Of Silence, which was organized by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), an organization that aims to influence a positive change in schools regarding queer students. Centennial High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) has adopted the week as a tradition for several years.
Throughout the week, students and staff members at the school were encouraged to participate in different activities. On April 7, there was a “Why I’m an Ally” banner displayed in the cafeteria. The following days held events such as Rainbow Day, where people wore rainbow colors to exhibit the pride the queer community had in their movement, and a day encouraging teachers to involve LGBT topics into their lessons.
Each event led up to the final and most significant event at the end of the week, the Day of Silence. The Day of Silence is a form of non-violent protesting to illustrate the silencing done to members of the LGBT community. Students participating vow to silence themselves to foster classmates and schools to address the problem of harassment and bullying.
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