Why are we silent?

twitter_silentThis year is the 21st anniversary of The Convention on the Rights of the Child Convention (CRC) and we need to ask ourselves: Are children’s rights around the world being respected? There are over 1 billion children living in poverty today. Hunger, child labour, exploitation, discrimination, lack of education and a lack of medical care continue to impact children’s lives around the world.

In 1989,  the CRC established a universal set of human rights for children that should be respected by governments around the world. These standards are supposed to be non-negotiable and include 54 articles that outline children’s rights.

Article 13 states:

The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through other media of the child’s choice.

Article 13 fit perfectly with our decision to participate once again in the Vow of Silence sponsored by Free the Children. We want to let the voices of children everywhere be heard. We want their rights to be upheld. So today, along with 3 other classes in the school, we were silent – for the entire school day. We learned in silence. I taught in silence. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it if we were able to bring that much more attention to the unthinkable conditions some children live and work in. Family and friends also pledged us for every hour we were silent and we’ll let you know our total soon. the money we raise will go towards a Free the Children project.


We have another video in the works as well – a combined effort of all the classes involved in the Vow today. We’ll post it as soon as we can.

I have to say the Ripplers were a determined bunch. Today was our first day of snow, too! Normally that would create quite  a scene in class, but today it came in second to their commitment. This year’s students outlasted last year’s class by quite a bit. It was clear that this mattered to them. It was clear they took it seriously.

And this was only one day … we know it takes much more than one day of activism to make a difference … but it’s a start. Now, the discussion begins … what will we set our sights on next?

(While you are waiting for this year’s video, feel free to watch our masterpiece from last year)

8 thoughts on “Why are we silent?

  1. Hi, I thought that it was VERY hard to to be silent all day. I messed up a few times but I didn’t talk when it was recess, lunch or gym time! Did you find it INCREDABLY hard? I tried to go till Saterday but only lasted at home for like 2 seconds. Did you last after school?

    • @Allison
      Yes I did find it really hard and I only slipped up a couple of times.
      I woke up at 7:00 and was silent until the end of school, I was originally going to go all day also but but i found it was really hard so i didn’t make it.
      How long were you silent for?

  2. Mrs. Braidwood, I’m not going to lie. That was one of the challenging things I’ve done in a while because I talk A LOT! It was so hard that I gave in at 12:30 but I was silent since 5:30 that morning. It was a good feeling to stand up for childrens’ rights.

  3. Mrs.Braidwood. I just have one thing to say, 1 BILLION CHILDREN? I wonder which countries have the most children living in poverty. I am lucky that I don’t live in poverty. I am happy that our class did the vow of silence for children who live in poverty.

  4. @ Ryan
    Hi Ryan I totally agree!
    It was so hard to stay silent I eventually had to give in! I was silent all morning at 6:00 though. How long were you silent for?

    • Hi,
      I am Mann. My favorite flavor of ice cream is Valina.
      what about yours?

      Reply back at mrssmith.ca,

      Have fun in the snow!

  5. Hi Mrs.Braidwood this is Maddie. I think that children all around the world should have the same rights as children in Canada. We have an education. Why shouldn’t they. We have food, medical care and fresh water they should too. We aren’t exploited, abused or discriminated why should they be. I think that every week we should be silent for the whole day. do you think you could stay silent for forty-eight hours straight?

  6. Hello everyone,

    I think it is very hard to keep quiet for a long time because you need to interact with other people and ask questions. Also that’s how you make new friends. How long as anybody not said a word for? You may like to visit us at here.

    Regards Pat