It gets better at Sparta High School

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:42

SPARTA — As a result of the suicide of Rutgers college freshmen Tyler Clementi, the It Gets Better slogan hit the airwaves gaining popularity and reaching out to young teens and adults throughout the country. Although Dan Savage began the public service announcement and outreach program, prior to Clementi’s much publicized suicide, the campaign hit the floor running when the circumstances surrounding his death were disclosed. The It Gets Better Project was created to show young lesbian, gay, bi, and trans people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project’s goal is to remind teenagers in the lesbian, gay, bi, and trans community that they are not alone and it will get better. As a part of their senior English multi-cultural unit, several senior students were inspired to make a difference at Sparta High School. The reading of “Angels in America,” a play by Tony Kushner and an It gets commercial set this project in motion. As a class, the students formulated a proposal for High School Principal Dennis Tobin. They decided they wanted to leave a lasting impression at SHS by creating a mural on the wall of the English wing of the building. On the wall, the phrase “It Gets Better” has been painted by junior Courtney Medina. “Students will pledge $1 and have their hand print painted on the wall symbolizing the pledge against bullying and to prevent teen suicide,” said Angela Davis, English teacher. “Some of the key players of this project are Courtney Noone, Megan Dmuchowski, Heather Raquet, Jessica Ross, Paige Lucas and Julianna DiBitetto. But all students involved are making a big difference in their community.” The It Gets Better Project has turned into a worldwide movement, inspiring over 10,000 user-created videos viewed over 35 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Lambert, Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell, Matthew Morrison of “Glee,” Joe Jonas, Joel Madden, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Tim Gunn, Ellen DeGeneres, Suze Orman, the staffs of The Gap, Google, Facebook, Pixar, the Broadway community, and many more. For more information visit:

Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that It Gets Better.