Don Lugo is known for the plethora of clubs on campus, spanning from a variety of different subjects – the GSA club is one of them. GSA stands for gay straight alliance, but what most students don’t know is this alliance includes teachers as well. It’s important for students to know they have someone to support them outside of just their peers, and there are actually quite a bit of teachers who are allies of the GSA club.
These allies include; Mary Carpentier, Natalie Marsh, Jamie Brown, Sophie Yu, Tara Ragsdale, Heather Lorde, Rodrigo Belloso, Annette Deming and many more.”As a club on campus, it is meant to be a safe environment for people of the LGBTQ community and their allies”, shared Mary Carpentier, an advisor of the club, when addressing the importance of maintaining a safe environment for students.
It is important to have a club like this on campus because as teens are growing up, they begin to find themselves and it is helpful to have others who support them. For some students, the ally teachers are the only accepting adults in their lives, and the school has become their safe haven. “To be a part of the teacher allies you have to be supportive and speak up for the community when you see or hear something” said Carpentier.
Having the support of other students and teachers is crucial to helping members of the LGBTQ+ community feel safe, and our campus is lucky enough to have many teachers who are allies and deem their classrooms as safe zones. Madame Marsh has been the co-advisor for two years now because she appreciates how supportive the GSA is, and her room is also a safe zone for students who may need it. Mrs. Carpentier took the role of the club advisor because she truly believes in and supports the community.
This club is a safe place for anyone to visit, you do not have to be LGBTQ+ to be apart of the club. If you have a family member or a close friend who is a part of the community, the club is open to you to talk about how you feel about it, learn how to support others, learn about the community, and overall provides information to all.
Marsh explained how she has seen students’ confidence in themselves grow from the amount of support they have from being in the group. Most of the teacher allies have the flag in their room, some do not, but they are allies regardless.