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New Club at Porter Ridge Focuses on Acceptance

 The Gay Straight Alliance is an organization that is nationally recognized for its activism, spreading of tolerance, and acceptance of high school students regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Now the Gay Straight Alliance is being offered as a club at Porter Ridge High School.

Sponsored by the high school guidance department, the Gay Straight Alliance club was founded by Rachel Carroll.

"I started a Gay Straight Alliance at Porter Ridge to try and promote tolerance and understanding," commented Rachel. "No one deserves to come to school in fear that they will be bullied for being who they are."

The purpose of this club is to welcome students of every sexual orientation and gender identity, educate the school community about homophobia and transphobia, and to fight violence, discrimination, and harassment in schools.

According to www.gsanetwork.org, research shows that students harassed on the basis of sexual orientation are:

  • More than twice as likely to report depression or seriously consider suicide
  • More likely to report low grades, smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs
  • More likely to become victims of violence

Research also shows that students with GSA clubs at their schools generally feel safer and more supported.

Porter Ridge High School's Gay Straight Alliance club met for the first time on Tuesday, November 22. The second meeting was Tuesday, December 6, and the club discussed creating bylaws and spreading awareness about the club. They also filmed a video for the announcements later that week, which aired Monday, December 12.

"I think it's pretty useful that people made the GSA, because it's good to be in a group where people aren't throwing negative opinions at you," a current GSA member mentioned.

The club is planning to meet again Tuesday, January 3rd, after school in the guidance office. Students who support this cause or are curious to learn more about it are encouraged by current members of the club to stop by and check it out.

Written by: Shannon Neu, Creative Writing student
Posted: Dec 16, 2011 by April Dawkins

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