Chambersburg School Board tables vote on gay-straight alliance - abc27 WHTM

Franklin County

Chambersburg School Board tables vote on gay-straight alliance

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The Chambersburg School Board put off a vote on whether or not to approve a Gay-Straight Alliance at the high school Wednesday night.

About a dozen members of the group came to see if the board would approve them as an official club;  something that other districts in the midstate have already done.

The president of the Chambersburg Gay-Straight Alliance, Amber Fogelsonger, was hopeful.

"So people that gay, or bi, or even straight can feel that they have a safe place to come to and they're not scared," she said.

"I am just hoping to become an official club and most of the things that people are saying are positive," said group member Sierra Bumbaugh.

The club got an endorsement from Superintendent, Dr. Joseph Padasak, who read from a prepared statement.

"The Gay Straight Alliance provides opportunities for students to build friendships and encourages open-mindedness and diversity with the community," he said. "I believe this mission statement speaks directly to one of our district belief statements that learning takes best in a positive and safe environment."

But when it came time to vote on the measure, the board voted to table it on a motion from board member Norman Blowers.

"It wasn't consistent with how the other club advisors are selected and we wanted to send it back so that they had a chance to modify it so it conformed with how all the other clubs are set up," said Blowers. 

When asked if he would approve the club in general, he responded that he had not yet made a decision. 

Teacher and supporter Matt Busillo said the decision was disappointing since the group had been working on getting formal recognition since last year.

"It feels like they're just stalling to buy some time to make the decision," Busillo said.

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