Student Forum to Discuss Issues on Campus


Hannah Berkheimer

Sonoma County is often viewed as a very progressive place, and in many ways it is. However, that does not mean that issues of racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and sexaul harrasment don’t continue to exist. Sadly, our school is no exception.

For example, recently, several sexually compromising photos of people at our school were posted on social media without their consent. In some cases, the people in these photos didn’t even know the pictures were being taken. The posts were meant to be humorous, but they showed a complete disregard for the people in them and the negative effects these photos would have on them. 

Another example of an issue we have on campus is the fear some trans and gender nonconforming students have when going to the bathrooms on campus. There have been experiences in the school bathrooms that have made these students feel unsafe. With gender neutral bathrooms, trans and gender nonconforming students feel safer, but sadly we only have one gender neutral bathroom by the gym, which can be very far away from many classes. 

It is because of issues like this that student Amy Cohen and several other students, with the help of the West County Activism Club, decided to organize a student forum on April 19th during Tutorial at the library. The goal of the forum is to be a safe space for students to discuss how these issues have affected them and possible solutions that can be implemented on campus. You can get more information about this forum on the group’s Instagram page, @wschs_activism_art, and on the West County Activism Club’s Instagram page, @wchs.activists. The group will also be giving presentations in English classes where students can learn about the upcoming forum. 

This is also the same group that put up the posters around school that say, “Stop Normalizing Racism,” “Protect Trans Lives, Respect Trans Identities,” and “The Way I Dress is Not an Invitation.” Sadly, some of these posters were torn down. However, they were put back up, along with a newposter saying, “Put Your Mental Health First.” 

This group is also supporting the West County Activism Club, led by KatieAnn Nguyen and Dylan Pena Perez, who are working to remove the plaques around the school put up by the Native Sons of the Golden West organization that is known to have had a past of white supremacy and contributed to Japanese incarceration. 

The group also hopes to get more gender neutral bathrooms. However, at the moment, it appears like that will not happen anytime soon.