Bippity Boppity Boop: GSA Introduces a New Mascot


Aster Bredwell

Boop looking over a presentation for the next GSA meeting.

Highlands High School has a four-legged friend who has been hanging out outside of the front entrance almost every day after school with his owner. A bearded dragon unlike any other, this silly lizard has attracted mass amounts of attention from students and teachers alike. Other than being a loyal pet, this scaly friend has a big job to do. 

Recently, Highland’s own club, the GSA (Gender-Sexuality Alliance), wanted to share some exciting news. The club, run by Mrs. Kelly Booth, is a safe space for all people but spotlights members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Lead member Ky Knauer, who was one of the students who fought to start the club, explained,  “Highlands really needed a safe space for members of the LGBTQ community, and the GSA provides that.” The club holds regular meetings once to twice a month in which they participate in a variety of different activities including tie-dye, games, and more. 

The club recently introduced a brand-new mascot, a bearded dragon named Cerberus, who, through his love of attention, earned the nickname ‘Boop.’ GSA had never had a mascot, so this was an exciting new addition. 

Mrs. Booth met Boop after school on the first day of school. She described meeting Boop as “love at first sight.” One day during a GSA meeting Mrs. Booth learned that Boop was rejected as a class pet for a different teacher. Immediately, she proposed the idea that Boop could be the GSA mascot. 

The idea of having a live mascot, especially one with so much personality, immediately intrigued the rest of GSA. There was one main concern: he is a bearded dragon. The thought that people would have a fear of reptiles concerned some of the other students. Surprisingly, this hasn’t caused any issues. Booth described Boop as a “puppy in a lizard’s body” and said that he changed the way she looked at reptiles. 

Ky Knauer thinks that Boop being a bearded dragon actually adds to what makes Boop such a good mascot. Ky explained, “When you think of a ‘dragon’ you think of protective and ferocious.” They also explained that Boop being a “protective and ferocious” dragon, adds to what the GSA tries to be for its members. 

GSA involves Boop in all of their meetings however they can. All of the members are incredibly cautious to make sure he is safe and that nobody steps on him. Occasionally, members of GSA bring snacks for Boop, and having Boop there has been a positive experience for everyone. 

One member, Freshman Bailey O’Day, wanted to express how excited she was to have boop as the mascot. She went on to explain why boop is a perfect mascot. “He’s small, he’s not loud, he’s clean, and he’s hypoallergenic,” Bailey continued, “He has so much personality, and he’s so cute!” As a first-time GSA member, she was originally very nervous, but she said that having Boop there in the meetings has made the experience better than she could have ever imagined. 

Boop’s participation doesn’t stop at just the meetings, however; he was dressed up & pulled in a decorated wagon during the homecoming parade. Cheerleaders, Football players, and even people just watching the parade rushed over to say hello.

Overall, GSA is very excited to introduce its new reptilian friend, and Boop is more than happy to be there.