Topic

lgbt community

18 petitions

Update posted 6 months ago

Petition to Wyomissing Area School District, Mr. Robert L. Scoboria, Dr. Cory Jones, Mr. Matthew Redcay, Mrs. Ginger Johnson

GSA at Wyomissing

I have come to the realization that Wyomissing is falling behind. No, our school is not lacking in diversity or growth. In fact, the population is rapidly increasing. The failure is Wyomissing’s inability to accommodate for this growth. Which leads me to this point: Why hasn’t this diverse school, if not one of the most diverse schools, implemented a club for LGBT youth? There is no doubt that LGBT students are in a minority. That does not change the reality that the size of the LGBT community is growing — including its younger members. We no longer live in some “don’t ask don’t tell” universe. LGBT students of my class, including myself, had little to no assistance in finding our sexualities. No one taught us how to ride the bike, so to speak. Our identities were up to us to figure out. The pressures of that journey were sometimes difficult. Parents and teachers don’t educate their children on different sexualities. A majority of LGBT students only learn about sexual orientations when they reach their first year of high school. So, here we have these confused 12 to 14 year old kids wondering what the hell is wrong with them. They wonder: Why are they feeling this way? Are other students like this? Enough is enough. Only the most ignorant of fools would believe that these questions don’t run through young students’ minds. I can assure you they happen everyday. We need a place to educate the student body about the LGBT community. Students deserve valid answers to the questions their asking, not just some short excerpt on LGBT rights in a history textbook. A Gay Straight Alliance Club could be the place where students can speak about their journeys and the obstacles they’ve encountered. This club could act as a student’s sanctuary when they have no one else to turn to. It could mean everything to a student who is being harassed by his or her peers, or a student whose parent’s disapprove of their orientation. This club brims with potential opportunities for LGBT youth. Berks County has many events for LGBT students; Wyomissing has simply ignored unearthing these experiences. Students could participate in community events, marches, seminars, speeches, dances, and shows. We could hold sessions that discuss the interplay of LGBT culture and society. The history of LGBT rights could be provided in more detail than in a classroom setting. Forms of entertainment and media that are inclusive of varied sexual orientations could be shared. My school is Wyomissing Area Jr./Sr. High School and I wear the title of ‘Spartan.’ Our school boasts of excellence in its academics and athletics. But I have yet to see it boast the content of its individuals. Why should we be awarded a diploma when we aren’t even awarded acceptance? Doesn’t who we are as people matter more than our intellect? He or she may have the highest gpa and the best record in their sport but what does that matter if he or she can’t even be themselves? Not one student should have to suffocate in fear — hide who they are. Implementing a GSA club would be an acknowledgement of LGBT students, a sign of faith. Those who are demanding this group are devoted to a cause they know is bigger than themselves. We wish to bring light to those who feel left in the dark by lack of reassurance. The Federal Equal Access Act permits students to form any non-curricular clubs. My hope is that the administration approves of this. Permission would instill good will into those who join. Resistance, however, would affirm any doubt LGBT students ever had about their school. I implore you not to resist change — it is the only thing that builds a bridge to acceptance.

Evelyn Hoyer
813 supporters