Originally published in The Columbus Dispatch – June 22, 2020
School should be an environment where everyone feels comfortable to be their true self. I believe a key to this is making sure that schools promote an inclusive environment. That’s why I’m glad that my school, Ohio Virtual Academy, has a Gay-Straight Alliance.
As a transgender male, it was incredibly helpful to have a support group there for me at school. The group is accepting to all and allows members to talk and get to know each other. GSA also allows all students to join, including allies in the community, promoting an inclusive environment where we can all support each other.
Now more than ever our schools need to provide these resources to students. This week, the Supreme Court made a landmark ruling that will protect transgender workers. This is a positive step. Now we just need everyone to realize that this was the right decision.
It’s time to show people it’s OK to be unique and not worry about labels. And that starts with education and making sure students are supported at their schools for who they are.
Jack Harrison, Akron
To learn more about Ohio Virtual Academy visit https://ohva.k12.com/