BY ASHLEY LAUREN
An amazing win for a gay-straight alliance in a Florida high school happened last Tuesday when Marion County Superintendent Jim Yancey was ordered to allow the Vanguard Gay-Straight Alliance to hold meetings on school grounds. The group had applied for status as an official student group in March, but was denied by Vanguard High School’s principal, Milford Lankford. They were told that he was “uncomfortable” having a gay-straight alliance on his campus. When they appealed to the superintendent, they were met with a similar denial. Shortly thereafter, the ACLU of Florida filed a lawsuit saying the school was in violation of the federal Equal Access Act and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
This is a prime example of why GSAs are so necessary in our schools. GSAs provide students with a safe space to talk about issues regarding their sexuality, and issues facing LGBTQ youth today. They also provide students with sponsors and allies in the school should they need someone to confide in or talk to. Furthermore, GSAs are bully-free zones, and are also spaces where students can talk openly about the bullying they encounter throughout the day.
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