by Caitlin Glenn | Staff Writer
Bullying is a serious issue found in high schools all throughout the world, and sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, it can still find it’s way into Johnson. Enter the Spectrum Alliance, an organization created to promote tolerance and anti-bullying.
“The Spectrum Alliance is a student club that was started a few years ago by some students who were concerned about issues related to bullying and kids feelings uncomfortable and out of place and isolated on campus,” sponsor and history teacher Justin Felux said. “And so this is a club for those students to feel safe and to find friends.
“The Spectrum Alliance is basically a gay-straight alliance,” senior Ian Mittleman said. “We promote tolerance between communities and we try and spread the knowledge of what being a member of the LGBT community is about and to raise awareness and to promote anti-bullying in general.
Sound like something you might be interested in? The Spectrum Alliance is all about making sure individuals feel like they belong and can have a good time.
“We have meetings every Wednesday after school and it’s a really safe, fun environment for people who maybe identify or just are supporters of the LGBT community,” Mittleman said. “Like this week, we’re having a movie night and are watching Perks of Being a Wallflower, and so it’s just sort of like a safe haven type of thing, like a non-judgmental area for people to go.
Beyond a general effort to make sure students always feel safe and welcome, the Spectrum Alliance also works at spreading their message around the school through special events.
“We did the Day of Silence just a few weeks ago,” junior Reinah Dumkao said. “It’s a nationwide thing and we just wanted to participate.”
At the end of the day, the club ultimately just wants to make sure that no student here feels like they’re isolated or unwanted.
“Just having meetings and being able to do social events and things like that is a big deal for them,” Felux said. “I think that for a lot of these students it’s just a question of knowing that they’re not alone and knowing that there are other students like them on campus.”