Newly formed GSA makes connections with Officer Byrnes and Best Buddies


Kensi Garvin

The GSA (Gay Straight Alliance), recently had a meeting with Officer Byrnes to discuss modern issues in society today. Officer Byrnes says “[he] has been trying to make an appearance not only in GSA, but in most clubs to introduce [himself] to students.” 

Officer Byrnes talked about biased crimes, which in this case can occasionally target people from the LGBTQ community and can be subject to harassment. An example of a biased crime being deliberately targeting this group. Officer Byrnes was pleased to hear that no one has ever had that kind of experience, specifically in Bernards High School. 

The intent behind biased crimes usually has to deal with using the wrong pronouns or making rude remarks. Officer Byrnes suggests that the individual openly says what their preferred pronoun would be. 

In addition, Officer Byrnes has also advised the group of the basic requirements of crimes that were considered biased crimes. As a whole, Byrnes goal was to make sure the group feels comfortable talking about modern issues in today’s society, as well as projecting a positive image of police officers as a whole.

The GSA also held a conjoined viewing with the Best Buddies Club. They viewed “Disney’s Pride Spectacular” with both the GSA and Best Buddies Club, which was chosen by Martha Gilbert. The two clubs are trying to do more activities to incorporate more students within the school. 

Senior Sarah Cirillo who runs Best Buddies said she “loved how [we] can merge with GSA to make such a special moment for Martha’s birthday! It was such a cool experience and everyone had a great time.”

Overall, the effects Officer Byrnes is making and the various events that now the GSA is holding is a great change to see within the school.