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Perspective: My alma mater shows its true colors

Alex Jackman

They are known by a variety of names -- pride clubs, diversity groups, gay-straight alliances, and -- in the case of my high school alma mater -- sexuality and gender equity, or SAGE.

These groups continue to be under attack, either by anti-gay conservative parents or, in some cases, school board members elected as part of a stealth campaign.

Thankfully, a recent controversy at Genoa-Kingston High School had a positive outcome. After some initial procedural concerns were raised, SAGE was approved for modest funding, just like any other school group.

Membership in these groups is NOT limited to gay or transgender students. In fact, in the short time these groups have been in existence, I have known personally at least two straight, cisgender teens who participated because of a strong belief in supporting diversity and opposing discrimination.

I graduated over fifty years ago, and, like most graduates, I take pride in the school that prepared me for my adult future.

But I can take pride in that school ONLY when it demonstrates to the world — as it recently did — that it is progressive and inclusive, NOT backwards, biased, and intolerant.

I'm Jim Kline, Genoa-Kingston Class of 1969, and that is my Perspective.

DeKalb County resident Jim Kline grew up in Genoa and earned a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois and an M.S. in Outdoor Teacher Education from Northern Illinois University.