What makes a place desirable? Is it not the inclusivity that compels people to break out of their shells? Is it not the energy of innovation, where students roam to find their place? Every institution aims to have a Garden of Eden.
What is Tesoro High School’s? Club Rush. Club Rush is a schoolwide, bi-annual event where students seek clubs, tailored to the individualized interests of the diversified student body of Tesoro High School. Everything from Politics, to Occupation, The Arts, Culture, Film, Literature, Charity— Tesoro has it all.
Tesoro Club Rush of Fall 2022, however, did not portray the ideals of inclusivity— in fact, it showcased a counter-effort disregarding the LGBTQ minority on campus, an effort which was orchestrated only by one, specific group of students. Rather than a Garden of Eden, the Fall Club Rush of 2022 was ever so appalling.
On September 8, 2022, the second day of Club Rush. a select number of students enrolled in the Muslim Student Association for illegitimate reasons, and other clubs - primarily the Rainbow Coalition - were vandalized. Ishani Solanki (she/they), President of the Rainbow Coalition, appealed to a concerned body of students in her Instagram post, which caught the attention of thousands of students not only at Tesoro but also at other Capistrano Unified School District schools.
Posted hours after the Club Rush catastrophe, Solanki, who directly witnessed the vandalism of her table, writes, “Today at club rush, I ran the Rainbow Coalition booth, and the behavior displayed by Tesoro students at the booth was... unacceptable. Myself and others… were consistently harassed simply for creating a safe space for LGBTQ+ students at Tesoro… We were filmed; we got food thrown at us. One person stole the bag of my vice president, [and] large groups of bigoted people crowded around our booth, preventing actual LGBTQ+ students from signing up… I am angry... that in this day and age LGBTQ+ students at Tesoro still have to worry about being harassed for being open about their identities… LGBTQ+ students at Tesoro deserve to have spaces for themselves. We deserve to feel okay and comfortable in our own identities.”
Though the administration immediately took action to ameliorate the disarray, the scar on the Rainbow Coalition spread as a mark on the social and cultural minorities at Tesoro. So what is the next step? Are stricter behavioral rules and regulations to be implemented by administrative forces? Does this disrespect raise concern district-wide? How can Tesoro revitalize what is lost— an atmosphere in which the social minorities of Tesoro feel comfortable in their skin?
We must not forget the Club Rush catastrophe; we must find a way to build a bridge between the past and present, to forge a bond of repair and revitalization. We must inch towards grasping the vision of acceptance, innovation, and inclusivity on campus. We must encourage school staff to create better standards of behavior. Tesoro deserves a diversified Garden of Eden where students have the ability to aimlessly roam to find their places of belonging.