Tori Cheney, Staff Writer – Lecanto High School [LHS] has a variety of panther hours for students to attend every Thursday and Friday. There are many panther hours that have fun activities for students to be involved in, but Safe Zone is a place where students go to just be themselves.
Some students need a safe space for them to be in and feel like they can be comfortable in their own skin while they are in school.
“Safe Zone was created out of my desire to have a place where the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual [LGBTQIA+], Black, Indigenous, People of Color [BlPOC] communities, and allies could gather, free from scrutiny or discrimination of any kind,” said Safe Zone supervisor Colby George. “Everyone is welcome, and there is only one rule – be nice to each other! Additionally, Mrs. Hamilton holds space for the LGBTQ club on Friday Panther Hour.”
Many students go to Safe Zone to have a place in school that is totally free of judgement.
“Safe Zone is my favorite panther hour because I get to be myself around everyone in there and it’s just a really comfortable place to be,” said freshman Brianna Flynn.
Other students enjoy Safe Zone because it gives them a place to socialize with people who have similar interests as them, or even make new friends.
“My friends come to this panther hour, so I like coming. It’s also easier to communicate with people who have a similar background as me,” said freshman Brionna Smith.
Some students have also formed strong relationships with other students within the club. Safe Zone is just an overall safe space for students to be whoever they want to be.
”We’re all one in a sense. We can all be ourselves and enjoy each others company when we come here. We don’t have to be afraid to be ourselves or express who we are,” said junior Sontee Brawner.