From Shore News Today
MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – A Gay-Straight Alliance club is being formed at Middle Township High School.
The Board of Education approved the club at a meeting Thursday, Jan. 19. Neither board members nor parents commented about the club at the meeting.
“The GSA will provide a sort of safety net for students who may have gender identity issues, as well as provide a place where they can expect support from their peers and school staff,” said club adviser Deborah Dalfonso. “These students are often the most isolated, so finding a place where they can make connections and feel safe is extremely important.”
Dalfonso said the group will begin meeting in March. Initially, the organization’s meetings will probably be brainstorming sessions.
She said would like to bring speakers to club meetings. The club would also be a forum where students can share experiences.
According to a research paper posted at the website of the Gay Straight Alliance Network, data nationwide show most gay, lesbian and transgendered high school students face bullying and homophobic remarks. Among the report’s conclusions was that schools with such organizations are safer for gay students, and that students in those schools are less likely to hear homophobic remarks.
The paper said such organizations are open to all students, regardless of their orientation.
Dalfonso was not yet ready to speak in detail about the alliance after the board’s vote.
As the almost-entirely student-run club organizes, The Middle Township Gazette plans on a feature story.