Addressing High School Homophobia

The AHS Needle team expresses their concerns surrounding ongoing issues with queerphobia.


Allison Berryhill

Photo illustration: Staff around AHS remind students they support them through small gestures.

AHS Needle Editors

Generation Z is littered with homophobia, transphobia, and queerphobia. After recent AHS events, it has come to our attention that the halls and classrooms are being riddled with negative comments directed toward those in the LGBTQ+ community. Many students have reported such comments to the administration. After multiple previous accounts, what is being done about it? There were minimal punishments and only the mildest of repercussions. Nothing was done to invoke any sort of change within our school.

Students in high school are old enough to form their own opinions and understand that some things are best left unsaid. Yes, we are all entitled to our opinions, but what we choose to say out loud changes the perceptions of our peers. The hallways are constantly filled with mumbled derogatory comments directed toward multiple groups. Staff hears the whispers, and some choose to stay quiet and “pick their battles.”  

There have been multiple recent major instances of queerphobia in this school that have gone unchecked. An Instagram account openly targeted those part of the LGBTQ+ community. The person running the account would leave hate comments, post pictures of other students without their consent, and invite other peers in the bio of the account to send pictures of other students. The account has since been removed, and no punishment beyond verbal reprimand was enforced.

In the handbook, it states “Harassment of students by other students will not be tolerated in the school district. This policy is in effect while students are on school grounds, school district property, or on property within the jurisdiction of the school district.” Every student is required to read the handbook thoroughly and each seminar makes videos about a section of the handbook, yet this section of the handbook is vague when it comes to the punishments of the offenders. 

When harassment occurs, we will speak out. We call on our district to keep our schools safe for our students of the LGBTQ+ community and enforce no tolerance for harassment. The AHS Needle editorial team stands behind the LGBTQ+ community and will continue to hold our administration accountable for their response to homophobia at AHS.