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A video has emerged of a California middle school teacher giving a presentation in 2019 detailing how she and her husband engaged in numerous unethical and potentially illegal practices to start a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club at Rosemont Middle School in the Glendale Unified School District.
Middle school English teacher Lisa Avery gave the presentation titled Instant GSA: (Just add kids!) at the California Teachers’ Association LGBTQ+ Issues Conference in 2019. During the talk, she gave a detailed explanation of how she and her husband, Alex Guthman, who was at the time the Mental Health Counselor at Rosemont, poached club leaders from the counseling office, bribed students with food in order to build up the club’s numbers, and coerced the reluctant principal into agreeing to allow the LGBTQ club.
A detailed analysis of the presentation was published on the Gender LCGB Substack which highlighted many of the questionable tactics used by the husband and wife in launching the group.
First, Avery acknowledges that the Equal Access Act requires that student clubs be student-led, meaning that they must be initiated by and led by the students and participation must be voluntary.
“So GSAs are student-led clubs,” explained Avery. “So the very first thing we needed to do was we needed to find our students.” Avery did this by approaching students who were known to identify as “LGBTQ” or were strong allies, and asking them, “hey, a group of people are talking about starting a GSA. Is that something you’d be interested in being involved with?”
As Gender LCGB points out, this is “manipulation,” in that it is phrased as if their peers wanted to start the club, when really it was a group of teachers, “in clear violation of Federal law and the district’s own rules.”
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