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Courage all class with Toormina High Gay/Straight Alliance

Alliance members Dylan Stiens, Jasmine Cridge, Michael McDonald, Jade McFayden, Liselle Tanner. Photo: Trevor Veale
Alliance members Dylan Stiens, Jasmine Cridge, Michael McDonald, Jade McFayden, Liselle Tanner. Photo: Trevor Veale

IT TAKES courage sometimes to be yourself at school but a group of senior students from Toormina High is trying to make it easier for everyone.

A Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) has been formed with the aim to not only support students having issues with their sexual identity but to also unite all students regardless of their ideals.

An awareness campaign began last year but it was in May that student Jade McFayden led the first meeting of the alliance.

"At that first meeting the classroom was absolutely full of students," Jade said.

"People were outside the door."

Jade said the reasons behind starting the GSA at Toormina High were simple.

"It's to create a supportive environment for students so they feel accepted and can be themselves," she said.

Toormina High principal Liz Donnan admitted to being very proud of the students, who have been so proactive in the formation of the GSA.

"It's the first group of its kind that I'm aware of and the group felt so empowered and, so entitled if you like, to claim their place," Mrs Donnan said.

Studies show students with sexual identity issues are at a greater risk of suffering from anxiety and depression.

Mrs Donnan says an initiative like this will make it easier for students at the school wrestling with such issues and the GSA should be applauded for its stance.

"They didn't want to be identified as being anything, they just wanted an inclusive group where everyone is respected," she said.

Topics:  gay straight alliance, toormina high school


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