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Story by Sam Aaron, Chyna Wallace, Hannah Wright, photo from WikiMedia

The Gay Straight Alliance club meets in Room 244 every A-day Wednesday after school.  The club intends to tackle issues with improper treatment of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) teens.

“Basically it’s where people of the LGBT plus community can come together and feel comfortable in their own skin and being themselves,”  junior Michelle Lane said.  

Art Teacher Jamie Chason sponsors the club, helping to create a fun atmosphere for the students.

“I sponsored GSA because I felt like it was a worthy cause to have a club like this, because its diversity enhancing, and promoting working together without judgment. The club just spreads understanding and positivity,” Chason said.  

The club does more than just “hangout”-they hold an annual clothing drive and participate in the yearly  pride parades in downtown Columbia.  

“[One thing I am proud of is] our clothing drive. We got a lot of clothes last year, and also the fact that we went to Pride and got to carry the flag during the parade,” Michelle said.

The group focuses on ending the mistreatment of LGBT teens.  It is a safe place for all teens to go and be comfortable with who they are.  

“In GSA, we tackle LGBT issues, it’s a safe place for LGBT people or straight people, whoever wants to come. It’s just a little group we hang out and do fun stuff,” junior Caleb Turner said.  

With Dutch Fork being so culturally and ethnically diverse, it’s important that all students are accepted.  

“It means that I have a place to go to even though there’s not a lot of openly accepting human beings in the world or in this school for that matter,” Michelle said. “It’s a place I can go to without being judged, where I can be comfortable.”