79R12890 KO-D

By:  Coleman                                                      H.R. No. 1162

WHEREAS, Since 1998, a National Day of Silence has been observed on high school and college campuses across the country to raise awareness of the silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students in our schools and communities; and WHEREAS, Participants take a nine-hour vow of silence on that day to recognize and protest the harassment, prejudice, and discrimination that many LGBT individuals face on a daily basis; the Day of Silence enables participants to show in a highly visible way that they support LGBT rights and promote safety and respect for those individuals in their schools and communities; and WHEREAS, The vow of silence also provides a space for personal reflection about the consequences of being silent and silenced; LGBT students often feel forced to hide their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression because they fear physical or verbal harassment; they might also be made to feel invisible by a school curriculum that makes no mention of LGBT people and events; and WHEREAS, By taking silence, a tool that traditionally has been used to deprive people of their voices and power, and turning it into an intentional group activity, participants in the Day of Silence truly make a powerful statement of resistance; and WHEREAS, Whether it is used to educate classmates on the damaging effects of anti-LGBT bias, to encourage inclusion of LGBT issues and events in school curricula, or to promote the adoption of nondiscrimination or anti-harassment policies, the observance of a National Day of Silence presents an important opportunity to create more inclusive school and community environments for all individuals; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 79th Texas Legislature hereby recognize the National Day of Silence on April 13, 2005, and encourage all Texans to work toward the promotion of safety and respect in our schools and communities for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.