The Return of Safe Space, A Much Needed Club

The pandemic leads to LGBTQ teens at home with non-accepting family members. A club like this could help.

Safe+Space+is+back+for+the+2020-2021+school+year%2C+and+it%27s+an+important+club+for+those+struggling+during+the+pandemic.+

Image from Pixabay

Safe Space is back for the 2020-2021 school year, and it’s an important club for those struggling during the pandemic.

The club’s “space” is to protect students from harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and improve school climates for all students in the long term. These clubs sometimes can be the only place students feel comfortable to express their true sexual orientation or gender identity, therefore they are very essential and important. 

During the pandemic, many teens are stuck home with non-accepting family members. Without being able to go to school and see friends, this has caused a huge decline in the mental health of teens, especially ones of the LGBTQ community. The hope of the club is to bring hope and an escape to any students who may be facing an unsupportive environment during this pandemic. During a time when students may not be able to see their friends or other support systems as often, having this club can be a place where for thirty minutes a week, they can feel safe and accepted, even if their family says otherwise. 

The club is run by LRHS’s Ms. Patricia Kebrdle. Last year, the club never got a chance to run, based on budget cuts and not having anyone to run it. This year however, Ms. Kebrdle knew it was important to bring it back. I, senior Emily Sebilia, would join Ms. Kebrdle as president in creating this space for LRHS students. 

However, starting the club back up again this year with a new advisor and president created many pluses. Students who may have felt too anxious to come in person, can join the meetings with their cameras off. It provides a safe space for them to be themselves, from the comfort of their own homes.

It was so important to bring back this club this year because it is something a school needs to have. As a freshman and sophomore, I was too afraid to join this club, because of what my peers may say. As a senior, I am proud to be the president of this club, and hope it can help students accept themselves and not worry about what others say. I also hope it can be used to help educate students, staff, and parents of LRHS about the LGBTQ community. 

Bringing a club back during a pandemic was very challenging. Members of Safe Space had to get word out to the LRHS community by posting on social media and the LRHS Live Feed. According to members, it would have been much easier if the club could have hung up posters around the school together, and we could have in person meetings, as technology is not always reliable and has difficulties sometimes. 

A club like Safe Space can provide an environment for teens to express their sexual orientation or gender identity if they cannot anywhere else. It can highly boost self esteem of students, when they know that their peers around them accept them and embrace their sexual orientations and gender identities, and educate members of the LRHS community on gender equality and identity.