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Five Things Skinner Middle School’s Gay-Straight Alliance Wants You To Know

May. 16, 2019
 
A tissue-paper rainbow display at a DPS school.

Skinner Middle School’s anti-bullying work has seen tremendous results this year — they have had a record low of only 9.5% of students reporting being targeted for bullying. Part of the school’s culture is a vibrant Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), a group of students who work to ensure a culture of safety and respect. The students of the Skinner GSA recently shared their thoughts on coming out, inclusion and how allies can support all students:

    1. A Gay-Straight Alliance is a great way to create a safe and welcoming school culture. “We’re trying to build a community. Every person should feel safe at school, or what’s the point?”
    2. Sometimes we aren’t ready to come out. “Coming out can be exhausting. You have to tell so many people and educate them. You may not even know if you’re ready to join the community yet.”
    3. It’s easier than you think to make everyone feel welcome. “Ask everyone their pronouns. Speak up when you see negative behavior. Think about how you normalize certain groups.”
    4. Learning to see another’s perspective can give you a new sense of empathy.“Even though I’ve had to become tougher because I’m gay, I’ve learned how to understand other points of view. Even if I don’t agree with them, I try to have empathy.”
    5. We hope the progress we’re making today makes a difference for tomorrow. “I hope one day we still have the Day of Silence, but not to raise awareness. I hope we have it to remember that one day we used to need it but don’t need it anymore because everyone is more tolerant.”

Join DPS at Denver PrideFest – June 15–16

Families, students, educators and allies will be walking together with DPS in the Pride Parade on Sunday, June 16 and all are welcome to join! To walk with the group, meet at the 12th St. entrance of Cheesman Park (1200 Humboldt St., Denver, CO 80218) at 9:15 a.m. and look for the DPS banner, balloons and staff wearing WE BELONG t-shirts!

The parade steps off at 9:30 a.m. from Cheesman Park and will end at Civic Center Park. In addition to the parade, you can also visit the DPS booth located in Youth Alley on Saturday or Sunday to learn more about the different supports that DPS offers our LGBTQ+ community, including GSAs, trainings and more. The booth will be open from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.–6 p.m. on Sunday.

For more questions, please reach out to dps_belong@dpsk12.org or visit https://denverpride.org/pridefest/ for general information.