Saline students, residents participating in national LGBT 'Day of Silence'
The Saline City Council voted Monday to approve a “Day of Silence” in the city on Friday.
The proclamation encourages citizens to promote a safe and welcoming environment for students and citizens and to stop the discrimination, harassment and abuse in Saline schools and community for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.
It was unanimously approved without comment on the City Council’s consent agenda.
Last year, the City Council approved a proclamation that named June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride (LGBT) Month by a unanimous vote. The proclamation was requested by a community group called Et al, which caused a bit of controversy in the community.
At the time of its approval last year, Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell said she hoped that it would serve as a way to fight “prejudice and discrimination in our own lives and everywhere it exists.”
In 2010, Saline Community Schools looked at changes in its non-discrimination policies, but decided against adding the words "sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression."
This Friday’s “Day of Silence” is a national event bringing attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools.
Students who choose to participate plan to take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem by “illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT,” according to the proclamation.
Some students at Saline High School plan to join other students across the country in observing this “Day of Silence.”
“At the end of the day, by breaking the silence, we promote an opportunity to educate and bring awareness to the Saline community regarding LGBT issues and reaffirm Saline as a welcoming and desirable place for all LGBT individuals and their families,” the proclamation states.