Some MCVSD schools emphasize inclusivity more than others

Isabella Ji

In some schools the LGBTQ+ youth are forced to stay hidden beneath the shadows in fear of any criticism that may come with revealing their sexuality.

Some schools around the country have not always provided a safe environment for the LGBTQ+ youth to express their sexuality. These students still face a few troubles, depending on their school. When it comes to MCVSD schools, each school has its benefits and flaws when supporting this community.

According to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, simply having GSAs (Gay-Straight Alliances) in school creates a more positive environment for LGBTQ youth. Additionally, it has been found that GSAs are linked to stronger school connectedness and improved academic achievement for LGBTQ students.

Rohan Lokanadham of Holmdel, a freshman at Biotechnology High School, recognizes that the GSA allows for a strong school bond by providing comfort.

“I think that it helps me get educated about the community myself and lets me express the things that I’m concerned about in a safe space without being judged,” Lokanadham said.

However,  the GSA at the Academy of Allied Health and Sciences has recently faded to the point where the club no longer exists. Allied sophomore Ashley Sun of Holmdel described the current state of the club’s affect on the school’s environment.

“I don’t think that we have that club anymore. The girl that used to run it left and no one ever stepped up to run it.” Sun said. “With that being said [I would say that] the community is somewhat damaged because it lacks the warmth of a safe environment.”

CHS Sophomore Hope Schneider of Tinton Falls described the LGTBQ+ environment at CHS as wholesome.

“The environment is very wholesome and accepting overall.” Schneider said, “there is also a large percentage of members, which I guess makes it more accepting than other highschools.”

Similarly, a High Technology High School freshman of Marlboro and MAST sophomore Daniel Vadon of Middletown, believe that their schools are welcoming towards the LGBTQ+ community.

“High Tech is definitely very accepting. I was actually surprised how easy everything was.” said Anonymous.

“The overall environment is pretty accepting,” said Vadon, “especially the people that I am around.”

Along with the environment of the entire school, the teachers’ actions towards the community are equally as important as the students’. Students think that some teachers are more accepting towards their sexuality than others.

“I think that the teachers are easy to talk to about it if I need to,” said Lokanadham, “I have actually talked to my bio and health teacher about stuff and then it moved on to guidance and it was really helpful.”

On the other hand, CHS Sophomore Max Ayers of S believes that, “when it comes to understanding this topic, most teachers are great. But others, don’t have an understanding and are not as aware or [the LGBTQ+ community] so they make things kind of awkward.”

In order to improve the environment in their schools, Ayers and Lokanadham both suggested raising awareness and educating their peers about what the community is. Additionally, Schneider thought that participating in Pride month with her peers by going to parades and celebrations as well as supporting the club will benefit her school’s LGBTQ environment. 

Ultimately, the communities at all of the MCVSD schools have a very welcoming and accepting environment. However, each school has room to improve.

“When kids are completely out in the open and no one cares, no one makes a fuss about it, it becomes a much more positive,” said Ayers, “and it’s what makes it a lot more comfortable than any of the other schools that I looked at [prior to coming CHS].”