SAGA brings awareness to bullying

Emily Lynch, Staff Writer

The Sexuality and Gender Acceptance club (SAGA) hosted a no-name-calling week the last week of January to encourage students to stop bullying and to bring awareness to those who have experienced it in their own lives.

SAGA was started at Sachse over five years ago and was originally called GSA.

English teacher Leanne Wilson Douglas is the current faculty sponsor for SAGA.

Douglas said the reason she wanted to be the SAGA sponsor is that her brother is gay, and he had been through times of depression because others didn’t want to accept his sexuality.

“I joined SAGA because I didn’t want these students to feel that way,” she said.

Some of the SAGA members have personally experienced bullying at school.

“I’ve had to go through 10 years of bullying at my old Catholic school,” sophomore Isabella Moore said. “I had to hang out with kids from other grades because no one in my grade liked me. When I reached high school, I came to Sachse and I was surprised how nice everyone was to me.”

SAGA is an after-school program where students can just talk and listen to others. The organization aspires to create a safe place for students who deal with bullying.

“Middle School was when I got bullied the most,” senior Nathan McClure said. “I think it was my freshman year at Sachse when a friend told me about SAGA, and that’s when I found my clique. I’ve been in SAGA all four years of high school.”

Sometimes bullying isn’t obvious. Sometimes others can say things that are hurtful without the intention of bullying. Students from SAGA are a support system for each other and they listen when someone is struggling with school or bullying.

“In seventh grade, some of my friends would call me slurs in class or gym as a joke,” junior Camrin Masga said. “I constantly think about that day and never want people to think bad of me. Since then I’ve made better friends, and I’m starting to put myself first.”

Bullying can threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school and can negatively impact their ability to learn. The best way to address bullying is to stop it before it starts.

“I got bullied for being quiet,” freshman Love Silva said. “Others would make jokes about me when I finally talked in class. My life has improved a lot, and I’ve been working on myself. Now I feel more complete.”