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The Student News Site of Gretna East High School

The Wingspan

The Student News Site of Gretna East High School

The Wingspan

Club creates welcoming environment of inclusivity

Giving+their+presentation%2C+freshmen+Abigail+Sullivan+and+Claire+Conoan+tell+the+GSA+club+about+the+Lavender+Scare+on+Feb.+2.+The+Lavender+Scare+was+a+movement+of+fear+and+persecution+of+LGBTQ+people+in+the+1950s.++
Autumn Green
Giving their presentation, freshmen Abigail Sullivan and Claire Conoan tell the GSA club about the Lavender Scare on Feb. 2. The Lavender Scare was a movement of fear and persecution of LGBTQ people in the 1950s.

While all clubs at the school are welcoming, one club has made it its mission to create a safe place for students specifically those who are members of the LGBTQ+ or an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.

Gay Straight Alliance focuses on inclusion and accepting everyone no matter what while putting on many different kinds of activities for the club members.

“We usually will do presentations and educational stuff,” club sponsor Jessica Self said. “Then we also do activities and socials, things like that.”

While this year has been a more “chill, social year” for members to “get acclimated to the new school” according to Self, GSA has put on many different activities. From bracelet making to presenting slideshows on members’ special interests, GSA activities are based on what the members enjoy. One idea that has been floated around is to group up with Gretna High’s GSA.

“We have not had any combined dates yet,” Self said. “Someday, I would like to do one. We would have snacks and play games.”

In addition to that idea, members can pitch ideas to Self and if approved, they are free to present their activity or presentation to the club, giving them the ability to lead and make the club what they want or need it to be. They make presentations to learn about the LGBTQ+ history and what made it socially acceptable by most people now.

“Sometimes we do presentations about history,” freshman Abigail Sullivan said. “Most of the time we play games with each other and goof off.”

The group’s purpose is to create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone. It allows them to hang out with like-minded people and lets them bond with each other and hear their stories.

“It’s a comfortable place to be to interact with people,” Sydnee Barr said. “I joined the club not for a specific reason. I just knew that it was going to be an enjoyable time.”

Because of the club’s size, at only 13 people, the members have formed a tight bond with each other and with Self. they have a mission to provide a safe place for students and allies to express themselves. Self has been in the Gretna district for seven years and has sponsored the club all of those years, she took over the position from Kiley Luchsinger.

“They know they can come to me,” Self said. “There are some I have known for a long time after graduation.”

Only a few schools in the metro have GSA. According to Child Trends, only 15.9% of high schools in Nebraska have the club. They meet the first and third Friday of every month in Self’s room, room 251.

“The fact that GHS had a GSA was the main reason I wanted to work here,” Self said.

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About the Contributor
Adelyn Ridley, Reporter
Adelyn Ridley is a freshman at Gretna East and at 14 years old she is the youngest reporter on staff. She joined the Wingspan because of her passion for writing and curiosity of the world. As a new reporter, she hopes to try new things, get out of her comfort zone and grow on the staff. Aside from journalism she is involved in One Act, softball and track here at GEHS.
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