SPECTRUM and Pride at THS

Brandon Morales-Ortiz, Staff Writer

October 1st marks the beginning of LGBTQ+ History Month, both across the country and in Teaneck High! Represented through murals and activism, the SPECTRUM club looks to add more Pride flair in the school.

The SPECTRUM Club, also known as the GSA (Gender-Sexuality Alliance), has existed in Teaneck High since 1995. Students started the club in order to create a space to discuss their gender/sexual orientations with others and perform activism in the school. By 2007, the club had a new advisor: Dr. Amy Moran. With her at the helm, the club has expanded significantly and taken up more tasks to spread awareness across the school. One of these tasks included painting a large mural on the third floor of THS, which Dr. Moran was happy to explain in an interview.

When asked who was behind the rainbow mural spanning across the hallway, Dr. Moran smiled and shouted, “We did!”, referring to her and the SPECTRUM club. Proud of their work, she stated that it was painted “to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots,” an uprising that happened in 1969 and represents a landmark moment for the LGBTQ+ community. Double-sided, the mural hosts a rainbow on one side and wings containing the names of important activists and figures on the other. An inscription is painted next to the mural, honoring the anniversary and those who took part in the riots. When asked if the club hoped to paint another mural someday, she stated “Yes! We would absolutely love to”, though there were no explicit plans made yet. 

With the start of the new year, the club is open and eager for new members. Meetings are held every other Tuesday in the Student Center, from 3:00 to 3:30. To join, students “just show up at the meetings.. Dr. Moran was quick to add, “All are welcome! We accept people from all kinds of backgrounds.” With strong goals for the year and a multitude of possible events, including an Ally Week, the club looks to celebrate all gender identities and sexual expressions from students at Teaneck High.