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We Are SILENT … Because OUR Silence is THEIR Voice!

Posted by on April 17, 2014

One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.

~Malala Yousafzai

*This post is dedicated to Mrs. Campbell, our amazing Assistant Principal. She is leaving us for a brand new Principalship! We will miss her and we will ALWAYS remember how she helped us to be the BEST that we can be … she treated us with respect and dignity and love!

Today we took a vow of silence. We did this to support the We Are Silent movement. We did this to speak up for the many people around the world who are unable to speak for themselves, through our silence.

We Are Silent Because Our Silence is THEIR Voice.

We Are Silent Because Our Silence is THEIR Voice.

“Shh. We are silent. Why are we silent, you ask? Because we are the voices of those who can not speak. When do you celebrate we are silent, you ask? On April 17th. It’s a time when we choose a silent period of time to not talk at all.” ~Alex

“Shh! Today is silent day. Everyone has to be silent for a whole day. I am being silent for all of the people who can’t speak. But … it was hard being silent. Like, for example, playing a math game. It is hard to explain. And, it is hard to not be silent. I wish if it’s not silent day we could just be quiet. I wish we could do the silent day again. We did this silent stuff because other kids in the world didn’t get the chance to speak up.” ~Hannah

We STILL got to share our thinking ... we just had to WRITE everything down!

We STILL got to share our thinking … we just had to WRITE everything down!

“Today we are silent for those who are in child labour and people who are child soldiers. MY class took a vow of silence for the WHOLE DAY … six and a HALF hours! It was not hard. It was easy because I am quiet most of the time!” ~Noam

“”Today we had a vow of SILENCE for the kids that are slaves. I know it’s sad … but true. There are many other reasons why we are doing this … not just child slavery! I’m doing this for EVERYONE that’s TREATED wrong!!! I hope life doesn’t go on like this. PLEASE stop this.” ~Amy

“Shh. Today we need to be silent. This is not hard. You should try it at hone whenever you want because being silent is a very special thing to do because some kids never get to speak out loud. We get to talk every day. Why can’t they? Today I was silent for everybody. I hope that child labour would stop and that all of the children that can’t speak get to talk for the REST of their LIVES.” ~Zyne

“Shh. Today we were silent because many kids are not allowed to talk. Not because they weren’t born right. The main reason why they aren’t aloud to speak because they are in child labour. Mostly, in Africa, kids go into child labour. The school started to be silent two years ago. So, everyone, every year, is silent. I hope that child labour would stop now.” ~Issac

It's hard to imagine not being able to speak up for yourself.

It’s hard to imagine not being able to speak up for yourself.

“Shh. We have to be silent! We are doing this because some people can’t speak up for themselves. Our silence is their voice! I hope that they don’t need to be forced to work. I’m going to be silent for everyone.” ~Catherine

“We are silent because some kids aren’t allowed to speak up. Our class is going to be silent. We communicated by doing writing like I am now. My question is WHY do they do such mean things to kids? What countries do child labour? I still can’t believe that I I thought it was in the middle ages. Where do they work? In a factory or a store? I just want to know. They have the right to talk about their feelings. I wish they had what we do. Silent day is one of my MOST favourite times of the school year. I love it so much because you can do so much for people in the world that can’t speak their feelings.” ~Ethan

“Hi Blog Readers! Today we had a vow of silence. Why did we have a vow of silence? Well, some kids get taken away which is called child labour and they are not allowed to talk. Some people take children away and make them slaves.” ~Kale

We are SO lucky to have our basic needs met. We know that we are fortunate.

We are SO lucky to have our basic needs met. We know that we are fortunate.

“Shh. It’s silent day! This is going to be hard I thought to myself. After, it seemed a bit easy. Do you want to know why we are doing this? I will tell you why. We are doing silent day because some kids don’t get to speak up for themselves. This is why we are doing silent day. I hope that kids around the world get to go to school and speak up for themselves. I am doing silent day for everyone!” ~Aya

“Shh. You should be quiet, I hissed. But it’s SO hard, whined Ethan. but, you have to be silent, I said calmly. Why do we have to be quiet, anyways, said the complaining Ethan. Cuz there are many children in the world that are forced not to complain and also made to work. That sucks, said Ethan, sadly. But, still, it’s very hard! I know, I said. But, still, we should stay silent. Who are you silent for, asked Ethan. Everyone, I answered. Me too, said Ethan. Hopefully some day the children that are forced to do work will someday be in school.” ~Peng Peng

“I’m silent because some kids have lost their voices. It would be hard. Sometimes they don’t have shelter, or fresh drinking water. I loved being silent.” ~Lane

“On April 17, 2014, our school took a vow of silence. For me, it was not hard because I am silent a LOT! It was easy. A piece of cake, if you know what I mean. The reason we did it was because there are some kids in the world who have to work and do not have any play time. Some girls can not go to school. Did you know that? Our silence is THEIR voice. All day we were writing on whiteboards to talk to each other because, well, it is SILENT day! I hope that everyone can go to school and I hope everyone can have the freedom to talk! I had a GREAT time with SILENT day.” ~Jenna

Smart Doc We are SILENT

This was a CHALLENGING day … but we know it was NOTHING compared to the silence MANY people face around the world.

“Shh. It’s we are silent day in our school! It is hard but I like challenges! I don’t care if I do it wrong. We are doing this for the people who don’t get to do whatever they want. They also can’t complain about it! shocking, right? I think I will be silent for everyone because I think everyone should be free … peace NOT war!” ~Melvin

“Squeak, squeak … we wrote on whiteboards. We couldn’t talk. We are silent. The school was silent for six and a half hours. We did this at the school AND at my bus stop. My class is trying to be silent for the whole entire day. The reason we do this is because some people can’t say their feelings … or they will get hurt. It was very hard to stay quiet because it was hard to write everything or mouth the words. I was silent for everybody who can’t say or write their feelings. I hope later on all the people in the world can say their feelings.” ~Daniel

It would be VERY difficult to TRULY know what it is like to not have your basic needs met ... one can ONLY imagine.

It would be VERY difficult to TRULY know what it is like to not have your basic needs met … one can ONLY imagine.

“The vow of silence is basically being silent for people who can’t talk because they are forced to work, to be slaves, to not have clean drinking water, to not have their basic needs met. There are many other reasons to go through. Some children are forced to do child labour. For that reason we are silent for the whole entire day, but not including recess and lunch! We got inspired by Craig Kielburger.” ~Cohen

“Our silence is THEIR voice. Wow. Today was fun AND easy, I said to myself. Today we were silent all day. It was fun because you write on a board to communicate. It was easy peasy. I was silent for everybody, boys and girls, that are not allowed to talk. Because, if I do it just for BOYS that are not allowed to talk, it will not be fair. I hope those kids who work and are not allowed to talk get freedom so they could play, have fun, learn and talk instead of working in quarries and companies. I just hope that those kids who work and DON’T have rights HAVE them one day.” ~Martin

“WE ARE SILENT!!!” Why? Because there are lots of kids in the world who are taken into child labour and can’t talk. Well … they can by nobody listens to them. So, we are taking a day of silence to help those kids in the world. Is it hard, you ask? Sort of. I mean it’s hard because you want to burst out talking and easy because we know children need help in the world. So … it’s basically both! My hope is to let all the children go to school and to not be in child labour. I wish that the world would let ALL girls go to school!” ~Claire

Even naughty Nelson is silent. Together we ARE strong.

Even naughty Nelson is silent. Together we ARE strong.

We know that TRULY walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is HARD to do. We ALSO know that taking this vow of silence, for an ENTIRE day, doesn’t even BEGIN to show us the challenges faced by MILLIONS of people around the world. After all, we came to school. LOTS of people don’t GET that choice. Even though we were SILENT, we were STILL able to communicate our thoughts on our mini white boards. We have beautiful shelter over our heads, parents and teachers who love us and do EVERYTHING they CAN to help us to be the BEST we can be. We have 100s of books in our classroom … 28000 books in our school library … and probably 100s of books at HOME too! Our water bottles and drinking fountains are FULL of FRESH, CLEAN water. No. Our vow of silence wasn’t a TRUE reflection of the silence many people are forced into around our world.

But … our vow of silence today will STAY with us. We know that we are lucky. We will think of the others who HAVE no voice and we will stand with others to help CHANGE that.

Out of the silence came THOUSANDS of voices!

~Malala Yousafzai

3 Responses to We Are SILENT … Because OUR Silence is THEIR Voice!

  1. K. Campbell

    Earlier this school year I received a birthday present from a friend. i could tell by holding it and feeling all the edges (do you do that with beautifully wrapped presents too?) that it was a book. Hmmmm…a book. After I had enjoyed the sweet suspense of wondering what was hidden under the paper I opened it and a big smile crossed over my face. Now it sits on my bedside table and I read a few pages most nights before I sleep. What is the book you ask? I Am Malala. Malala’s story is inspiring people, young and old, around the world and I am so delighted and not one bit surprised to read about her here on your blog.

    Though I am leaving Battalion Park School I will continue to receive your blog updates by email and I look forward to your thoughtful observations and insights about the world around you. My cheeks turned a little red when I read your thoughtful dedication at the beginning of your most recent post. Thank you for the fun and playful song performed on Thursday’s assembly.

    I hope you continue to ask questions and work for positive change in the world around you.

    With respect and gratitude,
    Mrs. Karen Campbell

  2. Kennedy

    Hello Mrs.Renton

    Me and my family loved this post! we thought it was so ADORABLE with every body covering their mouths in the group photo! we thought that Naughty Nelsons photo was soooooo cute too! 😉

    I have a few questions I want to ask because I was away. I hope the silent day was pretty FUN! Was every body silent for the whole day or was there some talking?

    Anyway this was a AWESOME post and one of my favourites! 😉

    Kennedy! 🙂 😉

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Kennedy!

      Thank you for ANOTHER lovely comment! I am glad that you and your family enjoyed the post “We Are Silent”! We had a TON of fun that day … but … we also thought a LOT about people around the world who aren’t allowed to express themselves. That part makes us SO sad. I think we all love that Naughty Nelson is a part of our class and that he is making his way into many of our posts lately! He has taken us on some exciting journeys this year!

      Gosh … we were MOSTLY silent for the entire day. It’s hard to BELIEVE, hey? We had an assembly, for Mrs. Campbell, that we sang in … so, we weren’t silent then. Some of us were even silent during recess and lunch! It’s safe to say that we pretty much lasted the ENTIRE day silent … with the exception of a few little things, like the assembly, lunch and recess.

      You’ll have to ask us more about it on Monday!

      Mrs. Renton 🙂

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