By Joanne Vu

PHHS’s district, ESUHSD, recently passed official policies concerning laws on the LGBTQ+ community on Nov. 4.

As the chairperson, GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) President Sofi Jaquez sat in on the meeting and voted on the trustees’ latest issue. This month, there were two major developments regarding the entirety of the LGBTQ+ students: As an entire district, they support and acknowledge LGBTQ+ youth, prior to the absence of an official acceptance or acknowledgement in the past. The other being students of the LGBTQ+ community are protected from backlash or bullying on the basis of identity, including discrimination from faculty members (teachers and admin.).

As the student governing board is funded through the district, there is a representative for each grade at each school, and out of those four, there is one main representative for the school as a whole. At our school, Sofi takes on that role.

The following process consists of the student government board electing the chair members where they sit in as an official trustee during the monthly meetings. The passing of these policies give hope to PHHS’s GSA club in terms of the liberation and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.

“For me, specifically, this makes me really happy because I’ve seen countless incidents of bullying and discrimination and for there to be new regulations officially frowning on this behavior, rather than looking the other way, gives me hope and brings me a lot of joy,” stated Sofi.

It will provide official support and acknowledgement of the LGBTQ+ community, and is meant to protect students from bullying each other based on their identities and sexualities.

“As for GSA, I don’t think much will change considering we’ve always been a well-known safe place. If anything, this policy may encourage more students to feel comfortable enough to possibly join GSA,” expressed GSA Board Member Sierra O’Leary. “It’s one thing to be acknowledged, but it’s another equally important thing to be celebrated, and positively empowered by fellow peers.”

In the future, the club hopes to touch upon other issues concerning the LGBTQ+ youth.

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