GSA students at the Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen, Washington are living in fear of harassment.
According to the Vidette, some members of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance reported feeling too unsafe to return to their classes. Earlier this month, the students held a protest to point out the anti-LGBT harassment they deal with regularly. The student first protested before school. They then held protests during the first and second lunch periods.
During the first lunch protest, a police officer was in attendance. This helped to keep calm among the space. Unfortunately though, the second lunch protest wasn’t so lucky. In the officer’s absence, the GSA students were met with the exact harassment they were protesting. Other students threw food at protestors and called them names.
In reaction to the chaotic protest, the GSA students were punished by faculty and administration leaders. The students say they were put into an isolated room. They were then given the option of either staying isolated from the rest of the school, returning to class with their homophobic peers, or be excused for the day.
After both incidents, the GSA students reached out to School Superintendent Alicia Henderson and Out and Proud Grays Harbor Coalition President Jen Gillies on December 20.
Henderson “made us feel like she was going to deal with the concerns at hand, and she did make us feel listened to and heard,” said GSA President Tyler Masterson to Vidette.
Henderson promised to work with the GSA members to make their situation better. For instance, the organization, despite being school-approved, has not been given a dedicated meeting space or permanent faculty adviser. Henderson promised to help correct that mistake. In addition, Henderson promised to continue anti-bullying and harassment talks with the students after their holiday break.
Source: The Vidette