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PA school board delays acceptance of Gay-Straight Alliance over language in proposed constitution

Chambersburg Public Opinion
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February 1, 2013

A Chambersburg Area Senior High School club that offers a support system for gay and lesbian students will have to wait several weeks until getting approval from the school board. Chambersburg Area school board decided by an 8-1 decision on Wednesday night to table the vote. Board member Anne Boryan voted against tabling the vote. Board member Norman Blowers noticed some language in the Gay-Straight Alliance club at CASHS differed from the language from the constitutions of other clubs at the school. He requested the board table a vote. Board member Fred Rice seconded the vote. "The by-laws were inconsistent," board President Stanley Helman said. "Their by-laws state that advisors are chosen by members of the club. We don't do that in any of our clubs." The board is scheduled to meet again on Feb. 13. Waynesboro Area Senior High School and Shippensburg Area Senior High School already have GSAs in place. Superintendent Joe Padasak issued his support earlier in the meeting during the superintendent's report. The purpose of a GSA is to provide support for students who need it. Schools with GSAs in place see fewer incidents of bullying, according to data released by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. "If what brought this up was bullying, I have a concern over that," said Blowers. "There shouldn't be students getting bullied. I don't care what their orientation, ethnic or religious differences are. They shouldn't be singled out and receiving denigrating treatment."