After a long fight, the Chambersburg School Board Wednesday approved 5-4 the Gay-Straight Alliance Club. Members denied the club 5-4 at a previous meeting. they took that decision back and voted again, this time approving the club.
“I’m gay and I was in ninth grade when I came out. So I didn’t have this kind of club to help me,” said Vice President of the Gay-Straight Alliance Club Tiffany Bechtel. She hopes her experience, and the acceptance of the Gay-Straight Alliance Club will help others.”I have been trying so hard to get this approved.”
“Even if it’s just family problems whatever the situation, coming out or not being sure about who you are. It just means we have an approved safe haven where people can come to. They don’t have to be afraid. They can just come to us and it will be ok,” said President of the Gay-Straight Alliance Club Amber Fogelsonger.
Now happiness is setting in for members. After a long struggle their club is officially part of Chambersburg High School, after the school board voted 5 to 4 to approve it. “This is actually our third time voting so I didn’t think that we would get approved. They say the third time is the charm,” said Fogelsonger. “It’s been hard getting not approved, so to finally have us approved is like a weight lifted off our shoulders.”
The decision has been years in the making, and it didn’t come easy. “I have been trying to do it since sophomore year,” said Fogelsonger.
Board members previously voted the club down. One reason: they say the already existing Culture Club can serve the same purpose and mission as the Gay-Straight Alliance Club. After the ACLU and Equality Pennsylvania threatened to sue, board members took another look. Board member Carl Barton said after investigation he decided the two clubs may serve the same purpose, but they serve two separate groups. He voted in favor of the club.
The Gay-Straight Alliance Club meets every Wednesday.