GSA faces conflicts as it moves meetings to after school

GSA faces conflicts as it moves meetings to after school

Sophia Bloom, Staff Writer

The Gender Sexuality Awareness club has already made its return to Berthoud High after a momentary absence when the original club leader had to take leave. Its return was welcome, but different to how it was in previous years. The club is now held after school on Mondays.

There are some risks to holding the club after school, especially for students who haven’t come out to their parents yet. Consider the fact that it’s difficult to explain away an after school activity, parents are much more likely to ask more questions on why, and where  their kids are staying after school, than they are about where they go at lunch. 

Saber Ruegg said, “Students don’t have to take extra time out of their day during lunch, and two, kids may have to come up with an excuse of why they wouldn’t be home right after school. If they weren’t out, they would essentially have to lie to their parents, putting them in a bad place.” 

A big part of the GSA is the community it provides without having to be outed or talk to your parents. Without this aspect, it can make the community more difficult to join. This isn’t necessarily condoning lying either, as sometimes it is much safer for students to stay closeted than to come out. You can’t know each individual situation, and it is an individual’s choice on whether or not they want to risk it, but hosting GSA means knowing what a LGBTQ+ student may struggle with, or need support with. A big issue within the community is not being able to be out to their family. 

 The change  can also cause scheduling conflicts within other outside activities. High school is where a lot of people are starting their jobs, or have other activities going on after school, such as sports or other clubs outside of the school. Another member, Haven Brunner says, “Most people who are interested in GSA have conflicting schedules after school. It’s hard for me because of my own busy schedule after school.” Haven also sympathizes with those who agree and no longer can make it to the group. 

Although the choice to take the risk is left to each individual student,  it can be argued that it is not the responsibility of the club to change the schedule for a few select students. It also can be argued that having it after school can have its benefits. Such as more time available compared to a short 30 minute lunch period, more freedom to maybe do more activities or longer conversations, and the ability to hang out after the club meeting is over rather than having to immediately go to class. 

It’s hard to determine whether or not hosting the GSA after school is a genuinely helpful or harmful decision. It has its cons, such as the risk of having more questions asked by parents that don’t know their children’s truths, and time taken up outside of school that can be hard to work into schedules. On the flip side, the new after school change allows for more time and freedom to do more activities and possibly create more meaningful bonds. It truly is up to the individual on whether or not they want to make this decision, but it is up to the higher-ups in the club to make the best possible situation for the community they look to support.