ANTHONY COLIN: His Name Was Justice
Room 525 at El Modena High School in Orange is normally where chemistry classes are held, and the décor lets you know it: tacked-up periodic tables, shelved science textbooks, noisy and uncomfortable metal stools, and shiny jet-black countertops on which students conduct simple and not-so simple experiments. On one wall is a chart explaining how, when light hits a prism, a rainbow is formed.
Oh, wait . . . that’s actually a rainbow flag. Which makes total sense because room 525 is also where the El Modena Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club holds its meetings every other Wednesday. There are other pride emblems sprinkled around: a HATE-FREE ZONE magnet stuck on a cabinet, and several signs encouraging equality and diversity.
"The start of each year is when students find out about the club," says Ernesto Nodado, the chemistry teacher who advises the group and lets the GSA meet in his classroom. "Just the fact that the GSA is here matters. Even if a student isn't comfortable enough to attend one meeting during the entire four years here, at least the students who come on that first day will know it exists. It lets students know that there's a safe place."
A safe place.
Like Anthony always wanted.
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