LGBTQ+ students deserve more at WCHS


Photo by Kendyl Groisser

A gender-neutral bathroom sign is posted in order to allow people who don’t identify specifically as “male” or “female.”

By Kendyl Groisser, Online Managing Editor

In today’s world, creating an inclusive and accepting environment is crucial. Students of all backgrounds, including those who identify as LGBTQ+, deserve a safe and supportive space to learn and grow. As such, WCHS must take further steps to improve inclusivity for everyone.

Pride Month, recognized nationally in June, offers an excellent opportunity for WCHS to show its support for the LGBTQ+ community. During this month, schools can organize a series of events and activities aimed at promoting awareness, education and acceptance. These initiatives could include guest speakers, workshops on LGBTQ+ history and rights, movie screenings, art exhibitions or panel discussions featuring LGBTQ+ individuals from various backgrounds.

WCHS has tried to make its community more welcoming through its weekly “Pride” days. These days are planned to be one Wednesday per month between the second and third periods; moreover, every month, second-period teachers present a slideshow to their students as part of the “Pride Lesson.” These presentations usually discuss several relevant themes – including the importance of allowing WCHS to be more inclusive toward the LGBTQ+ community. However, these lessons are not taken seriously and do not have as much of an effect on the students as school administrators would have hoped. Instead, the WCHS administration should approach the issue by adding more LGBTQ+ friendly accommodations around the school.

One important accommodation that WCHS can provide for the LGBTQ+ community is ensuring that all students feel comfortable using restroom facilities. Introducing gender-neutral bathrooms can significantly contribute to fostering inclusivity. These bathrooms are designed to be accessible to individuals of any gender identity, eliminating the stress and discomfort that may arise from forcing a student to choose between bathrooms labeled ‘men’ or ‘women’. If WCHS can implement gender-neutral bathrooms, the school will send a strong message of support and inclusion to its LGBTQ+ students while providing them with a safe space to meet their daily needs.

Not only can WCHS expand its inclusivity through its bathroom facilities, but it should also prioritize expanding the existing clubs or creating new ones specifically created for LGBTQ+ students and their allies. According to Chalkbeat, only about 35% of students in the US said their school had an active Gay Straight Alliance or similar club. WCHS can help build a sense of belonging for LGBTQ+ students and empower them to become leaders and advocates within the school community. By dedicating resources and time to Pride Month activities, WCHS can celebrate and foster a diverse environment for all students.

The GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) club at Winston Churchill High School has made significant contributions to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ students. Through various initiatives and activities, the club has created a safe space where students can express themselves without fear of judgment or discrimination. They have organized educational workshops, guest speaker events, and awareness campaigns to promote understanding and acceptance within the school community. The GSA efforts have undoubtedly played a vital role in cultivating a more inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for all students but should also hold WCHS as a whole accountable for fostering an inclusive environment.

It is also vital for WCHS to prioritize education around LGBTQ+ issues among staff and students. Offering workshops or training sessions on LGBTQ+ awareness can help get rid of stereotypes, eliminate biases and create a more understanding atmosphere within the school. If WCHS gives teachers, administrators and students the knowledge and tools to address LGBTQ+ topics respectfully, the school can nurture an environment where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.

Creating an accepting school for the LGBTQ+ community requires a proactive approach that goes beyond weekly Pride lessons. But by implementing gender-neutral bathrooms, expanding LGBTQ+ clubs, and celebrating Pride Month, WCHS can take significant strides toward building a more welcoming space for all students.