One of our hallmarks as a school is our sound: the constant hum of conversation/giggling/chatting generated by happy students learning. Today at the Coop, we also had silence, led by our upper school’s Queer Student Alliance to help us support GLSEN’s nation-wide and student-led Day of Silence.
Since they couldn’t talk to me today of course, QSA members told me during their planning a couple of weeks ago what they understood and why they wanted Coop students to be part of the Day of Silence. They have been learning that members of the LGBTQ community feel silenced by simply not being able to be fully who they are in this world: at home, at school, or at work. The Day of Silence highlights that problem by giving everyone the chance to experience the silencing first hand. As GLSEN suggests, they met with the head of school to ask if they can do this and they made plans ahead of time by notifying teachers and asking for their support. They worked with student council, and they give all upper school students the choice to participate.
As progressive education hinges on learning by doing, the students who chose silence today got to experience all the discomfort, encumbrances, and emotions that silence creates by going through it if only just for one day. The day was scheduled purposely to end at 2:30, in time for assembly, so that students could share their experiences with the community. We are so proud of our upper school students and thrilled that QSA has brought this day of student activism to the Coop.
By the way, to support our students’ efforts please go to the school’s facebook page and like this post! Thank you for your support!
And see you tomorrow night at the Coop Community Benefit!