A “SAFE” Place

By Angela Prestopine and Kayla Suber

One of the school’s biggest priorities is keeping kids safe. This year, the word “safe” has a whole new meaning. With the addition of Shenango’s new SAFE Club, the school district is ready to assist as many students as possible.

Students Advocating for Everyone (SAFE) creates a safe environment for all students going through all different types of challenges or struggles. “Whether it be mental health or things at home,” Mrs. Merryman, club advisor, said, “SAFE creates a space for kids to come that is without judgement, without bias.”

This club is supposed to be a place where students who feel as if they don’t fit in or don’t belong can feel welcome.

Initiated by junior Hannah Hutchinson and freshman Alexis Koelliker, who wanted their voices heard, SAFE Club first began focusing mainly on LGBTQ issues, but expanded further into anyone feeling like an outcast.

“The big thing is to just get the word out there. You don’t have to fit into a certain mold to be a part of this group. It’s definitely accepting of everyone,” shared Mrs. Merryman.

According to Merryman, SAFE creates “an opportunity for an open forum where everyone can be heard.”  She hopes to build a community where everyone feels valued. “I want them to feel like they have a voice. We are talking about doing a school culture survey, and seeing what our problems are. As a SAFE Club, we are discussing how can we attack these issues so we can improve our school climate and school culture.”

The club had its first meeting this past Friday. Meetings will last about 30 minutes after school on assigned days. Any interested students should contact Mrs. Merryman for future meeting days.