Controversy spread through the halls of West Lincoln High School last week due to the recent formation of a new school club. West Lincoln high school students and parents expressed their concern over a Gay-Straight Alliance club starting at the school in conversations with administration and on social media.
Many were vocal on Twitter, stating their displeasure with such a club being associated with the school. Others commented as to whether such a club was even necessary. No students could be reached for comment.
This semester, West Lincoln High School principal Dr. Cale Sain is serving as the club’s interim advisor. Two new faculty members plan to begin advising the club in January.
While the club is still in its early stages, Sain estimates approximately 10 students attended their first meeting earlier this semester, and 20 students attended Thursday’s meeting. News of the meeting late last week along with flyers advertising the event appears to have sparked the conflict. Several of those flyers were torn down from the school’s walls.
While Sain has spoken to students and parents, he says there have been no major disruptions during school hours.
“Once we figured out who tore down the signs and addressed it, there haven’t been any other issues,” Sain said.
He believes an ongoing discussion is important for understanding all sides of the controversial issue.
“A few parents have called, and I told them, ‘Let’s just chit-chat and talk about the mission of the Gay-Straight Alliance,’” Sain said.
Sain explains that the club’s mission is to promote understanding and tolerance.
“We want to get to the point where the ideas of all students can coexist at this high school,” Sain said. “People are fired up on social media because it is very different for West Lincoln. We’ve never had a Gay-Straight Alliance before, and that by itself is a change. And while it is a change, every student deserves respect and understanding. In a public school, not all 900-plus students are going to come in with the same beliefs and background. But, given a little more time, I believe we’ll get to that point with a greater level of understanding and respect.”