Each year, Landmark High School's Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) sponsors Ally Day and encourages community members to reflect on their values and actions, commit to end harassment and bullying, and support their peers, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. In 2020, the GSA expanded its focus to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and called the day Solidarity Day. The day is intended to draw attention to the historic harm done to Black people and emphasize the responsibility we have to adjust our language, ideas, and actions so they are appropriate and reflect the voices of those most impacted by oppressive systems and behaviors. The GSA encouraged the community to reflect on the following pledge:
I believe that all students, regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity/expression deserve to feel safe and supported, and that Black lives matter. That means I pledge to:
- Try to listen to perspectives and experiences that differ from my own, and to keep an open mind.
- Not use racist, or anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) language or slurs.
- Intervene, if I safely can, in situations where students are being harassed or tell an adult.
- Support efforts to end bullying and harassment.
- Encourage others to be Allies.
Dozens of students, faculty, and staff participated in Solidarity Day at the High School on October 16 and signed the pledge digitally. A Peace flag was displayed in the cafeteria in Alexander. The flag symbolizes Landmark’s stand against the injustice and inequality that still exists in our society.
"Our goal for Solidarity Day is for members of the Landmark community to take time and reflect on how our actions and behavior can create a community that is a more welcoming, equitable, and safe place for all." said Jennifer Moy, faculty leader of the GSA and a teacher at the High School. "It is especially important in these uncertain and challenging times to continue to have events like this (in a safe manner) to draw attention to these issues and show our support for those more at risk for harassment, inequity, and discrimination."
Ally Day is inspired by Ally Week, a student-led program during which LGBTQ K–12 students and educators lead a conversation on what they need from their allies in school. It is sponsored by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network). Showing our support is especially important now, as rates of bullying and harassment increase for students who identify as LGBTQIA+, and these students are four times more likely to attempt suicide.