A group of middle schoolers at Rome Corners Intermediate School is showing their support and allyship for their peers in a newly minted Gay Straight Alliance club.
The club meets from 3:20-3:40 p.m. every Wednesday, with band and choir teacher Samuel Cutter overseeing the group.
Olive Andersen, 11, said she has been to nearly every meeting since the group first started in early November. Andersen said she attends because she wants to educate herself and others.
“If I know more, I can understand more,” Andersen said.
The group learns about different types of sexuality and relationships, in addition to creating posters to spread awareness about LGBTQ issues around the school. Attendance fluctuates between four and eight students, Cutter said.
Cutter said he is just the group’s facilitator, and he wants the club to be driven by students to become something they create and cultivate.
As the students created colorful posters with “Gay Straight Alliance,” written in rainbow colors to hang around the school, they collectively came up with ideas for the future, including hanging posters around the community and starting a rainbow garden.
GSA member Aurelia Wochenske said that she hopes the after school club will be a welcoming environment and anybody at RCI can join.
“I want to create a safe space for people to come so they don’t have to hide their identity,” she said.