A 15-year-old from Columbus, Indiana, has started her high school’s first gay-straight alliance, after seeing her gay friends being bullied for years.

Lexi Jackman-Wheitner, now of East High School, told The Republic, that her friends were more likely to drop out of school, and that she saw a plethora of negative effects from the bullying.

Since she started high school, she said that she wanted to try to stop the bullying she had seen her friends subjected to because of their sexuality:

“They were terrified of coming to school … being out in the community alone,” she said. “They just kind of closed off from people. They felt alienated.”

“I just thought it was absolutely cruel and horrible.”

Ms Jackman-Wheitner has secured the backing of her Guidance Counsellor, Monica Anderson, her English teacher, Genevra Dewhirst and the school’s Principal, Mark Newell, and hopes that the group will be a safe place for gay people to discuss their problems, and find support in their straight friends.

At the school, such clubs must be initiated by a student, and both Ms Dewhirst and Ms Anderson expressed how glad they were that Lexi had proposed the idea.

The group eventually hopes to be able to make presentations in class, and to openly challenge the problems faced by LGBT students in the high school.