GSA

Mission

Gay-Straight Alliance Network is a national youth leadership organization that connects school-based Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) to each other and community resources through peer support, leadership development, and training.

GSA Network supports young people in starting, strengthening, and sustaining GSAs and builds the capacity of GSAs to:

  1. create safe environments in schools for students to support each other and learn about homophobia, transphobia, and other oppressions,

  2. educate the school community about homophobia, transphobia, gender identity, and sexual orientation issues, and

  3. fight discrimination, harassment, and violence in schools.

Why We Are Needed

Youth are coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning at younger and younger ages, in middle schools and high schools across the country. Far too many face pervasive harassment and violence at school because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

Research shows that youth harassed on the basis of sexual orientation are:

  • More than twice as likely to report depression and seriously consider suicide
  • More likely to report low grades, smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs
  • More likely to become victims of violence
  • 3 times as likely to carry a weapon
  • 3 times as likely to report missing school in the last 30 days

While youth who are harassed report weaker connections to school and less support from teachers and other adults, research shows students with GSA clubs at their school feel safer and more supported.

According to the Preventing School Harassment Survey, students in California schools with a GSA club:

  • experienced less harassment based on sexual orientation
  • experienced less harassment based on gender non-conformity
  • were more likely to feel safe at school
  • were more likely to feel school is safe for LGBT students and gender non-conforming students
  • reported stronger youth resilience factors, such as connections with supportive adults at school
  • GSA clubs can successfully decrease harassment and increase school safety for LGBTQ students.
Advisors: Ms. Stephanie Morris and Ms. Marlene Minardi
Meeting Times: Mondays after school in Room 307
Contact Information: s.morris@schoolsofwestfield.org
                                m.minardi@schoolsofwestfield.org