Club Spotlight: SASH


A meeting room in the Chelsea District Library is all set up for a meeting of SASH: an organization that educates students about sexual harassment

Sexual harassment. Something that, sadly, a lot of teenagers experience. From grades 7-12, 56% of girls and 40% of boys have claimed to have been sexually harassed at school in the prior year. 87% of these students have said that their experiences have affected them negatively. In a more extreme light, 1 in 5 high school girls in the U.S. have experienced sexual assault at school. These concerningly high numbers are something that Kira Grifka (‘26) hopes to change by getting together with her peers as part of a local chapter of the nationwide Students Against Sexual Harassment program.

“I had some incidents in middle school,” Grifka said. “And I know a lot of people experience stuff that is like, bad that they kind of just, like, throw over their shoulder as if, you know, it’s just whatever. Like, maybe it won’t happen again or whatever. [I’ve always wanted] to raise awareness and then to have people be able to come and be supported.”

Grifka’s desire for sexual harassment education has been present since her years at Beach Middle School. However, forming a club required an adult. Luckily, Grifka’s mother and her friends were more than willing to help out.

“I walked from school to my mom’s work and her co-worker was like, ‘you know what? There are so many programs out there. You should just start something,’ so she kind of helped me,” Grifka said. “She sent me a few links, I did some research, and then my mom helped me. We thought that it could help us and if it can help us, it can help others.” 

While Grifka has found support in adults around her, as well as a national program to jump off from, she recognizes that the club might not be the first thing on everyone’s mind. Winter sports are already set in stone, and she doesn’t know how many people are interested in the organization. While her dreams are for SASH to be a popular extracurricular, she is keeping her hopes of membership to “around ten people” by the end of 2023. 

Despite a small membership at the moment, Grifka aims to have an educational and helpful space for everyone, regardless of what beliefs they bring to the table.

“We have people who believe that sexual harassment isn’t a thing and they could definitely benefit from [sexual assault education],” Grifka said. “There are people that have gone through stuff and they kind of are held back by it and they could benefit from it. Then there’s the people who have gone through it and are at the stage where they’re like, ‘it’s not gonna hold me back forever,’ and I think everyone could benefit from [listening to] them.”

Being the leader of a local chapter of this nationwide organization, Grifka has a general SASH curriculum of sorts to run off of. However, to educate as many people as possible, Grifka is also adding some of her own topics to the meetings to ensure she reaches as many people as possible.

“I want there to be more education on what people can do about their experiences, then how they can respectfully educate others, and not be held back by the stuff they’ve gone through and be able to push forward and experience a great life,” Grifka said.

Grifka’s organization, Students Against Sexual Harassment, or SASH, is ready to get on the ground and start educating in Chelsea. Many students have seen the posters on the walls of the high school and more are already interested in making a difference and joining the club. SASH started its biweekly meetings on Wednesday, March 15, from 3:30 to 4:30 in the Chelsea District Library. 

“I think SASH is gonna be very helpful,” Grifka said. “As it gets bigger, I think it’s going to have a very positive effect on others. Everyone’s been so supportive and I think this is going to be a great opportunity for many people.”