Chambersburg Area School District: Allow a Gay-Straight Alliance to form at CASHS
  • Petitioned Joe Tosten
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

Chambersburg Area School District
Joe Tosten
Chambersburg Area School District
Stanley Helman
Chambersburg Area School District
Carl Barton
Chambersburg Area School District
Norman Blowers
Chambersburg Area School District
Fred Rice
CASD Superintendent
Joe Padasak
See response

Chambersburg Area School District: Allow a Gay-Straight Alliance to form at CASHS

    1. Thomas McCalmont
    2. Petition by

      Thomas McCalmont

      Roxbury, PA

  1.  
  2.   
March 2013

Victory

Thomas McCalmont: After putting pressure on the school board, and many community members and alumni of Chambersburg spoke out, the school board reversed their decision. The vote won 5-4, with Carl Barton changing his vote.

I went through 3 years of being denied starting a Gay-Straight Alliance at Chambersburg Area Senior High School when I was in attendance. A brave group of students and faculty fought to get a Gay-Straight Alliance implemented this year, but were denied by the board last month.

It's important for students to have support systems they might otherwise lack. Bullying has been an issue at the school even before I went there. It led to me being called "fag" or "faggot" or some variation of that every day. One year I was unable to dress in the boys locker room because it was a "solution" for the intense bullying I endured one day after gym class. The bullying escalated to the point of contributing to suicidal ideation my senior year. This club is crucial for the students.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Victory!

      Thomas McCalmont
      Petition Organizer
      Chambersburg Area school board votes to allow Gay-Straight Alliance

      Click photo to enlarge CHAMBERSBURG - The Chambersburg Area school board on Wednesday reversed its vote on a Gay-Straight Alliance at Chambersburg Area Senior High School a month after it blocked the club's formation. The board narrowly approved the club by a 5-4 vote. Board member Carl Barton reversed his initial vote on Feb.

    2. Not Only My View, But Also Those of CASHS Students

      Thomas McCalmont
      Petition Organizer

      Here's a video from publicopiniononline.com... Students from CASHS, and even I, were interviewed about the GSA. Here's the video:

      http://bcove.me/70gsspjc

    3. The Schoolboard Stays Silent; We Won't!

      Thomas McCalmont
      Petition Organizer

      The schoolboard has stayed silent. They've dismissed the petition through saying it doesn't represent the local community. I challenged this here:

      http://www.washingtonblade.com/2013/03/18/pennsylvania-gay-school-board-faces-lawsuit-over-gsa-refusal/

      The current situation:
      http://www.publicopiniononline.com/latestnews/ci_22826211/chambersburg-area-school-board-faces-deadline-from-aclu

      Pa. school board faces lawsuit over GSA refusal

      The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and Equality Pennsylvania are threatening the school board of Chambersburg, a south central Pennsylvanian town, with legal action after the board voted 5-4 against allowing high school students to form a Gay-Straight Alliance on Feb 27.

    4. Reached 6,000 signatures
    5. Well, tomorrow is Thursday and...

      Thomas McCalmont
      Petition Organizer
      No comment from school board on ACLU letter

      Chambersburg Area School District has not issued an official response to a letter received Tuesday from the American Civil Liberties Union Pennsylvania and Equality Pennsylvania on behalf of students who want to form a Gay-Straight Alliance at Chambersburg Area Senior High School. Neither Superintendent Joe Padasak nor board President Stanley Helman expected action at Wednesday's meeting.

    6. FOX43 Covers Petition and ACLU Proposal

      Thomas McCalmont
      Petition Organizer

      See the video and read the story here. Wasn't looking the best today during the short clip towards the end, but... here!
      http://fox43.com/2013/03/12/lawsuit-threatened-over-gay-straight-alliance-club-in-franklin-co-school/#axzz2NO0WfpeE

      Lawsuit threatened over Gay-Straight Alliance club in Franklin Co. school

      After board members voted 5-4 not to support a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club at Chambersburg Area Senior High School, two groups have threatened a lawsuit against the district if the board doesn't change its vote by the end of the week.

    7. Decision-maker Joe Padasak responds:

      Joe Padasak

      hope it works out


    8. Decision-maker Joe Padasak responds:

      Joe Padasak

      What is the worse that can happen


    9. Decision-maker Joe Padasak responds:

      Joe Padasak

      Do the right thing.


    10. Decision-maker Joe Padasak responds:

      Joe Padasak

      Isn't it illegal to deny students an organization such as this. If this petition doesn't work please contact the ACLU or the Equality Alliance.


    11. Decision-maker Joe Padasak responds:

      Joe Padasak

      Bullying like this caused my big brother's suicide last year. Everyone should be allowed support if they ask for it.


    12. Reached 5,000 signatures
    13. Initial news coverage:

      Thomas McCalmont
      Petition Organizer
      Gay-straight club veto stirs community

      A day after the Chambersburg school board denied the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance club at the high school, community reaction reportedly outpaced student reaction at the high school. Chambersburg Area Senior High School Principal Buddy Chapel said that Thursday was a day like any other. "It was business as usual," said Chapel.

    14. Reached 1,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • T B Moran JOHNSTOWN, PA
      • over 1 year ago

      Because, even though many folks being gay is choice; I can tell you personally that is not! I have handled being gay in my own and it's been difficult, but denying a person who needs help dealing with their emotions, their environment and is not always a simple thing. I had as much of being gay as I did to determine that I would have brown eyes. I think it's fine to monitor the group, assure that the kids that wants or need assistance get; however to proceed as if there is no need to have resources the alliance available in not need... well, that is the bigger confusion.

      By the way, I live in Cambria Co and although that isn't being next door, distance isn't the issue. The point is, take care of your kids, no where they live.

      Thank you

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Miranda Beard HARRISBURG, PA
      • over 1 year ago

      I believe in equality and education. If the educators can not support their students, how will their students learn tolerance and respect for differences. I understand that it is not always easy to make the right choice, but it is always a necessity.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Suzan Beacham HUMMELSTOWN, PA
      • over 1 year ago

      All students , regardless of sexual orientation, have a right to e press themselves. GSA offers that chance to do it in a safe, non-judgemental environment.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • J Bloomrosen LAKE WORTH, FL
      • over 1 year ago

      Hey Chambersburg District.... Welcome to the 21st century! You are supposed to be educators, yet, apparently, you need some education yourselves. How can any group created to promote acceptance and understanding be something bad? Sheesh. You should be embarrassed by your stupidity.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jennifer Escobedo UNIVERSAL CITY, TX
      • over 1 year ago

      When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.

      ~ Jimi Hendrix ~

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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