MTHS Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a student club that works toward a more accepting environment for ALL people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, through education, support, social action and advocacy. Are you concerned about bias & discrimination in our school community? Do you want to work together to make a difference and have a good time? Join the MTHS GSA!
The Facts About GSA:
The first GSA was formed in 1988 when a straight student wanted to do something to educate fellow students about anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. She went to her history teacher, GLSEN* founder Kevin Jennings, and proposed a club: “You're gay and I'm straight, so let's call it a Gay-Straight Alliance.”
Students are legally allowed to form GSA clubs in schools under the 1984 Federal Equal Access Act, which was initially created to protect students' rights to form religious clubs. Judicial precedent has established that under the Equal Access Act, if a school allows one non-curricular club, it must allow all others, including GSA.
GLSEN offers GSA clubs a place to register so club members and advisors can receive resources and network.
GLSEN defines GSA clubs as any club that works to make their school safer while specifically addresses anti-LGBT behavior.
Like the name, GSA clubs are made up of straight as well as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) students.
GSA clubs are like any other club: they have advisors, hold regular meetings, host events and are open to anyone on campus committed to their mission.
GSA clubs improve school climate for LGBT students. When a GSA is present, LGBT students hear homophobic remarks less often, experience less harassment and assault, feel safer at school, skip school less often and have a greater sense of belonging.
GSA clubs typically participate in GLSEN's Days of Action, including Ally Week in October, and the National Day of Silence in April.
* GLSEN is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. It is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. [http://www.glsen.org/]
Last Modified on April 18, 2011