New Club Provides Safe Space for Everyone

Mollie Baker, Staff Reporter

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Madison Consolidated High School has recently started a new, inclusive club. The club is more commonly known inside the school’s hallways as Safe Haven and is a part of the GSA. GSA stands for Gay Straight Alliance. It is held in English and German teacher Mrs. Simmons’ room every other Thursday during Cub Time where anyone is welcome. It is a student-led club that aims to create a safe space for students to come and be themselves. They can talk about whatever they want, and it is completely up to the students what they wish to do during the allotted club time.

GSA is a national organization that wants student-led and organized clubs to become safe spaces or “safe havens” for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community. It is a place for anyone to be open about their sexual orientation or identity; it is also for people questioning their identity.

“It is just designed to give people a space to communicate with other students,” Simmons stated about the goals for the GSA this year.

As the teacher in charge of watching over the club, Simmons works to maintain this as a safe space for students and to keep negativity out. One of the ways that they do this is they have a Google Classroom in order to keep attendance, and Mrs. Simmons emails each teacher about only the students in their class that are in the meeting. This is in order to protect the identity of the students and to stop some of the bullying that could happen surrounding students’ identities.

The students discuss topics given to them by Simmons that revolve around current events and what’s happening in the world. The students then lead the discussion wherever they want. Some students comment on the topics of others if they are comfortable in doing so or share their own personal experiences and stories.

Safe Haven Club Leader Natalie Simmons

“(I like) how it brings people together. You have so many different people that you wouldn’t expect  come into it. It’s just nice to be in it all together,” said one Safe Haven student. It is a very open, very safe place for people to open up and completely be themselves with no judgments.

Also, Simmons requests for the general student population to have a broader view about people.

“The world is not binary. Black, white, left, right, gay, straight. Just be open to the possibility that each of us is unique…and be tolerant of all kinds of people,” Simmons said.

While the GSA meetings are open to everyone, please only attend if you are truly interested in being open and making this a safe place for everyone. The next few meetings will be September 20, October 4, and November 1.

Safe Haven First Semester Schedule

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1 Comment

One Response to “New Club Provides Safe Space for Everyone”

  1. Tracy Smith on September 14th, 2018 9:41 pm

    I am so happy this is taking place at MCHS. I hope both gay and straight kids attend so that straight kids know it’s ok to have gay friends. This could open the eyes of many parents of straight kids. BRAVO!

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