Gay-Straight Alliances More Important Than Ever, Advocates Say

When 17-year-old *Alyssa F. first joined her California high school’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) group, she didn’t know anyone. But the more meetings she attended and the more events she talked herself into going to, little by little she began to open up. The group, she says, became her family.

Monika Ujkic is a mathematics teacher at Shadow Hills High School in Indio, Calif. She’s also the current advisor of the GSA group that Alyssa belongs to.

“Overall, our group provides support and visibility,” she said. “But we could do more in the activism piece on campus I think. We do participate in the Spirit DayNational Coming Out Day and National Day of Silence. [Shadow Hill] so far has been supportive and encouraging of our activities.”

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