Whitney Rutherford, a math teacher at Evanston Township High School, is handing out this form in all her classes today:
“Please understand my reasons for not speaking today.
I am participating in the Day of Silence (DOS), a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies.
My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT bullying, name-calling and harassment. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices.
Think of the voices you ARE NOT hearing today. Just because some of your classmates and I are not speaking does not mean it’s a free day.
We’ll just be doing math a little differently today…
I will cue you when we will be working individually, as small groups, or as a whole class by my “clocks”. The one I want you to follow will be posted up on the screen or I will be holding it.
When I need your attention back:
I will clap twice,
You ALL clap twice,
And stop conversing.
Make and wait for my cue…
Further, to help with our mathematical discussions I have questions on notecards that I may hold up or ask one of you to read.
If you are participating in DOS please communicate your ideas by writing them on paper for your group members to read or for someone to read aloud to the whole class.
Ready. . .
Set. . .
Two other math teachers at the school – my husband Andrew and his colleague Rich – are also using Whitney’s methods to honor the Day of Silence. Be the change you want to see in the world.