HEBRON — Hebron Academy recently celebrated the Day of Silence, a nationwide event that spotlights awareness, support and recognition of the statistics of bullying and challenges of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) student community.

Members of the school’s Gay, Straight and Transgender Alliance (GSTA) organized Hebron’s Day of Silence. The celebration included educational announcements, the posting of personal messages of support and the opportunity to be silent for the day to experience and reflect on what it might feel like to not be accepted for who you are.

Students and faculty wore tie-dyed T-shirts or the color purple in support of the event. At the end of the day, the community “broke the silence” by ringing the Hebron Victory Bell.

“Hebron is a diverse and welcoming community, with students from the local community and from all around the world,” Head of School Dan Marchetti said. “It is a community that respects differences — different religious affiliations and varying political points of view as well as sexual orientation and gender identification. It is a tenet of our school that we do not discriminate on the basis of age, color, gender, disability, race, religion or sexual orientation.”

“As educators, we believe it is fundamental that students feel welcome and safe in order to thrive and learn to their greatest potential,” said Julie Middleton, associate director of admissions and GSTA faculty advisor.

Hebron students created the GSTA in the late 1990s to provide an organization that promotes equity among all members of the Hebron community and to establish safe spaces across campus. Although there are faculty advisors, the GSTA is a predominantly a student-run organization that gives voice to the ongoing concerns of the LGBTQ community here and across the country.

Adrianna Mainville, a senior at Hebron from Amesbury, Massachusetts, and a longtime member of the GSTA, said, “I have friends who are gay or otherwise, and I want them to know that their sexual identity or preference doesn’t matter. We are friends and we are here for each other.”

Students at Hebron Academy participate in the nationwide Day of Silence, which brings awareness to bullying and the challenges of the LGBTQ community.

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