A Day of Silence at LHS

by Free Speech on May 12, 2009

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Lodi, WI-5/12/09
by Maxwell Love

A Day of Silence is meant to be a day of respect. Ironically, a few incidents preceding Lodi High School’s Day of Silence turned the day into a much more meaningful experience. These acts of disrespect, which need not be mentioned, forced Thursday’s guest speaker on diversity, Paul Wesselmann, to leave with feelings of disgust and hurt. Thankfully Paul is a man of compassion and forgiveness.

I find no fault with people that disagree but I do find fault with those that choose to disrespect people who are different. I would like to share something meaningful that happened to me on the Day of Silence to show what power respect can have. The Day of Silence happened to fall on a day I was sceduled to have Big Buddies. At first, my little buddy thought I had lost my voice. Because I had chosen to participate and had vowed not to speak the whole day, I felt it could be a learning experience for my little buddy as well.  Someone told him I was being silent for those that are bullied. Immediately I saw his face light up and he made a motion like he was zipping up his lips. He had made a vow to stand with me in silence and it lasted fore more than 30 minutes. Imagine that, a 3rd grader staying silent for more than 30 minutes-at recess mind you!

These seemingly simple experiences teach us the power of love and respect. It is a universal pulse that touches everyone on some accord, sadly a few of us just need a nudge to feel it. What I didn’t mention was that as soon as other kids saw my little buddy and I being silent, they asked what it was about and it began to create a ripple effect. Teaching just one person something important empowers that person to teach another person and so on.

Interestingly enough, a Day of Silence has the power to evoke more words than actually speaking about the cause could. On that note, some people evidently disagree with a Day of Silence. A number of people stayed home or were held home by their parents in protest of the day. As I said before, I find absolutely nothing wrong with this, in fact it shows that people have courage to stand up for what they believe in. In turn, when a belief infringes on respect and safety, then it becomes something malicious.

Senior Jordan Bast felt the day was “overkill, and possibly took away from learning”. A lot of people felt that teachers addressed the issue too much and made some people uncomfortable. Cody Endres, a junior, was frustrated that the Day of Silence was just targeting oppression against homosexual people and felt it could have encompassed a broader range of people who are bullied but he was generally “fine with having a Day of Silence“.

Janelle Krummen, also a junior, expressed that it was definitely a good idea because generally “Lodi is not very accepting of diversity and this was a chance for those that do accept diversity to show it”. All in all, there were a wide range of opinions, and discussions, on the Day of Silence at Lodi High School. Ultimately, the Day of Silence accomplished its mission: to get people thinking, and more importantly, talking.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sharon May 13, 2009 at 7:47 AM

Maxwell, what a wonderfully written and moving article. What a wonderful “ripple effect” you set in motion. Just think if everyone who was impacted by the assembly and its aftermath could silence one bully, what a powerful wave could result. Thanks for caring enough to publish online.

2 roxy May 12, 2009 at 1:52 PM

The “day of silence” is every day with my teenager… I didn’t know the high school participated in the “day of silence”. Thanks for “passing it on” to your little buddy and many other buddies.

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