Day of Silence sweeps schools
More than 40 schools around the country are taking a vow of silence for the day to raise awareness of the struggles homosexual and transgender youth face in schools.
The Day of Silence campaign is a worldwide event aimed at drawing attention to homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and harassment in schools.
Reports conducted by the University of Auckland in 2007 showed gay students are five times more likely to be bullied at school because of their sexual orientation.
Twenty percent of transgender students have attempted suicide and nearly 50 percent have been physically abused.
Queer youth also have concerning levels of depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse, self-harm and suicide.
The campaign began in the United States in 1996 and took place for the first time in New Zealand at Nayland College, Nelson in 2007.
This year's event is the first time the Day of Silence has been launched as a national campaign.
Those taking part in the campaign are encouraged to take "selfies for silence". Supporters take picture of themselves pledging to break the silence of homophobia and transphobia and then post the images on social media.
The Day of Silence is run by QSA Network Aotearoa - a national charity that aims to make schools safer for queer and trans students.
source: newshub archive