TURNERS FALLS — Franklin County Technical School hosted a conference for all western Massachusetts high school Gender and Sexuality Alliances to help LGBTQ students become leaders in their schools and create a more inclusive environment.
Not only did the group of 30 students discuss problems related to gender and sexuality within their schools, but they also posed solutions and created actions plans throughout the conference.
The topic of the conference, held for the first time at the Tech School, was student leadership as it relates to creating welcoming and inclusive school environments for all students.
The Tech School hosted Minnechaug Regional High School, Southwick Regional School, Easthampton High School, Hampshire Regional High School, Edward Bellamy Middle School and Westfield High School.
Senior Program Consultant for the Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students, Jason Wheeler, said some of the topics students discussed were about ways LGBTQ students are pushed out.
“We talked about some of the issues LGBTQ students face like dropping out, homelessness and others,” Wheeler said. “We also had students discuss the cultures inside of their schools and ways to create LGBTQ-inclusive events can improve that climate.”