A Place For All

   Sometimes students struggle with finding a place to fit in. But in the 1990’s, Spectrum club, which is a space for LGBTQ+ members and their allies, started. The club currently has eight members, but due to the new schedule, students are finding it hard to make it to the meeting. Despite this, the club has members attending each meeting.

   Garrett Rogers, junior, first joined the club to be with his friends. Rogers said, “I kept going because I realized it’s a nice and welcoming environment.” The club is designed to create a safe space and a community for students, but the students feel it is much more than that.

   Last year, members of Spectrum club went to a conference hosted by the Anti-Defamation League, and they helped bring the program No Place For Hate to the school. Jamie Gonzalez, junior, said, “We try to get involved around school as much as we can and discuss topics that are important for our community.” 

   The members have participated in events such as the Freshman Showcase, Trick or Treat Street, and the homecoming parade. In the club, the students will often have discussions about their lives and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. Christopher Scialo, senior, said, “It helps kids who are struggling feel accepted and comfortable in their community.”

   “When the club first started we had to have a sheriff’s deputy attend the meetings because of the threats of violence,” Spencer Woods, English teacher and Spectrum sponsor, said. “We have come such an amazingly long way since then.”  This is the first year Woods will be sponsoring the club. In the past Georgina Quintana has been the sponsor.

   According to OutNotDown, LQBTQ youth are two times more likely than their peers to say they have been physically assaulted at schools. Anonymous sophomore said, “It’s hard for me to come out; I don’t know if the community will accept me.” LGBTQ+ students can be hesitant to come out because of the backlash they might face from students at the school.

   Woods said, “When the club first started, I couldn’t be out in the classroom. I could be fired.” Colorado has since put in laws to protect against discrimnation to teachers. Under Guarantees and Protections for Colorado K-12 Public School Teachers, school boards cannot discriminate against employees based on sex and sexual orientation.

   The club holds meetings the first and third Monday of every month after school in toom 1390. They have open discussions regarding the LGBTQ+ community and themselves, as well as watching movies and working on schoolwork. Woods said, “First priority is a safe place, second priority is a safe place for allies to come and learn.”

Jack Stilwell, Social Media Editor

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Spectrum club members set up booth for the Freshman Showcase. Photo By Jack Stilwell

 

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