Students in Frank W. Cox High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance led an open panel at the “Love is Love: An Evening with the Gay-Straight Alliance” before a packed auditorium of hundreds on January 30.
The packed event was planned to make up for an abruptly canceled GSA Event last month which drew ire from locals who said the school faces anti-LGBTQ bullying with little support for the administration.
Michael Berlucchi (image below), President of Hampton Roads Pride, spoke about his personal experience as a student at Forst Colonial high School, where he was bullied.
“It was called smear the queer,” Berlucchi said. “And it’s still being played today.”
Sergeant Shelly Mesiter (image below), Virginia Beach Police Department’s LGBTQ liason, also spoke on the legal ramifications of bullying.
“What some people call bullying is actually a criminal offense,” Meister said. “If a person makes a threat, either in writing or electronic communications, on school grounds, and that includes a school bus, they can be charged with a class 6 felony even if the intended person didn’t receive the threat directly.”
After the forum, attendees were invited to view student art and enjoy to live music. A large sheet cake, decorated especially for the alliance, was cut and passed around, bringing a sweet end to the forum.
Faculty sponsor Victoria Sachar-Milosevich said she was pleased with the event’s turn-out, and hoped to hold a similar event next year.
“We want to do it again,” Sachar-Milosvich said. “But in a bigger venue.”