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New high school club seeks to improve relationships between students

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New high school club seeks to improve relationships between students

Flyers made by GSA members hang in the halls and include answers to questions people may have about the club.

Flyers made by GSA members hang in the halls and include answers to questions people may have about the club.

Flyers made by GSA members hang in the halls and include answers to questions people may have about the club.

Flyers made by GSA members hang in the halls and include answers to questions people may have about the club.

Ella Walden, PR/Marketing Director

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A new club has been formed at Freedom called the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) that deals with different sexualities and identities coming together to discuss LGBTQ issues such as stigmas, misconceptions, as well as being a safe space for students to talk about their personal stories. GSA club sponsor Blaire Lasko, as well as members senior Serenity Price and the founder, who desired to withhold their name in this article, created and posted promotional flyers to encourage students to join the week before the first meeting on Nov. 13.

Starting the club was surprisingly simple, according to the club lead members.

“I had four students approach me about the possibility of starting the club and asked if I’d sponsor it. I said yes, and from there, we spoke to Mr. Deal about how we get a club started. We had to create a club mission statement and get that approved. And our club was made,” Lasko said.

Starting any kind of club goes through the same process as long as the subject is appropriate and as long as there are students interested in attending.

“An average club meeting is generally an open discussion. Either we will have a topic prepared to discuss, or a member will raise a question or topic that they would like to talk about that day. Several of the teachers also plan to take turns coming to the meetings as both a show of support and a way to better understand the students involved and the purpose of the club,” senior Price said.

With 20-odd members attending, and it being a young club, it has given the community mixed feelings. A way to confront these feelings is to know what happens in the meetings as well as their goals for the year and hope to bring to the school.

“Our plans for this year are predominately just trying to create an inclusive space for students, as well as trying to spread that inclusivity slowly throughout the school. Dealing with mixed feelings from the community has been interesting, to say the least.” Price said.

“We’re just really focused on finding what would be best for every member and get some speakers in to talk about the community and how to overcome obstacles. I hope to have fun with it but also be able to be serious when needed.” GSA founder said.

Although some views from the student body were tearing down the promotional flyers, the club has been staying strong with its returning and supporting members.

“That was rough. I had expected perhaps a few stupid jokes, but I hadn’t anticipated quite the pushback that we received from a small group of students and parents. And it hurt, because anyone who’s in GSA just wants to find a community of kids who are going through the some of the same things they are. And to have some people find that idea threatening? It was a shame and disappointing. But, what I loved was the showing of people who supported the club, the teachers and students who immediately had our backs. I was very grateful for their support,” Lasko said.

The GSA is open to anyone in the school interested or a part of the LGBT community. Even those confused and that don’t know much about the group are welcome to come and ask questions to become better educated and tolerant of different people with different preferences, interests and more.

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New high school club seeks to improve relationships between students