Posted On: Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Students and staff members who were part of Student 360's Day of Silence at Harding.

On Feb. 4, 45 7th and 8th graders in Harding’s Student 360 group participated in the school’s first ever Day of Silence. Student 360 members vowed to be silent in order to call attention to the silencing effect that dating violence and abuse has on teens.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 3 teens experience physical, emotional or sexual abuse each year. This alarmingly high rate exceeds every other form of youth violence making dating violence the most prevalent form of youth violence and a serious public health crisis. 

When a teen experiences abuse, most of the time they are silent and do not tell anyone. It is estimated that less than one third of teens who experience dating violence reach out for help. There is also a deep sense of shame and stigma associated with being a victim of dating violence.

The district, through its efforts with Ranger 360 and groups such as Student 360, is trying to change this. The hope is that through education and the efforts of Ranger 360, we can create a safe space for youth to develop safe and healthy relationships, and victims will get their voices back and will no longer be victims, but survivors.

Harding students stood together in silence to show their support and hope for the 1 in 3 teens struggling with an abusive relationship. Students and staff had a lot of positive feedback to share. One student said ““I think it showed people the impact of silence during an unhealthy relationship.” Another said ““My friends respected what I was standing up for.”

“We are so proud of every student who participated and the other Harding students who respected the fact that Student 360 members were standing up to give voices to the voiceless,” said Ranger 360 Coordinator Abby Hanley.

Student 360 is a student group (at Harding, Garfield and Lakewood High School) that is dedicated to supporting the mission of the Ranger 360 Program. Ranger 360 strives to address and prevent sexual assault, dating violence and stalking in the Lakewood community.

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