Monday, October 13, 2008

"Gay-friendly" high school?  

What does everyone think about this new "gay-friendly" high school that might open in Chicago? Apparently, it won't be exclusive to GLBT students, but it will work hard to be completely accepting and create a comfortable atmosphere for those who have been tormented for their sexual orientation. Lessons on sexual identity will be included in classes, and counseling will be provided to all students.

I like the thought behind it, because GLBT students are being brutally harassed in normal high schools and are therefore more likely to miss class and less likely to graduate. However, I feel that creating a separate school will only encourage more of a division between heterosexual students and homosexual students. If all GLBT students and their allies are put into one school, homophobes won't be forced to accept and understand these students. And that's not good. I think that incorporating lessons on sexual identity is a wonderful idea - but I think it should be put in all schools. Education on GLBT people should start young - maybe around 4th or 5th grade - and should continue to high school. I don't think separating people is the answer.


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3 comments: to “ "Gay-friendly" high school?

  • October 13, 2008 at 11:34 AM  

    Yeah, I agree on you being so torn. I went to a very gay-friendly state college and people often talked about the bubble syndrome that people get. They become so comfortable being around like-minded people that they forget how much it will suck after graduation. It's really lose/lose no matter which way you do it, but maybe it's better that these kids can at least enjoy some of their more delicate years in safe quarters. Idk. Or maybe they should be spending their time developing thick skins? (Both figuratively and sadly, sometimes, literally) I really can't say for sure which is better. But it's sort of like saying that POC should attend separate schools to end racial tension. Segregation all over again- does that ever really help anything?

    Maybe schools should spend more time teaching the practice of tolerance, rather than just empty theory. Get rid of Bush's sex ed plans that teach kids that gay people are freaks of nature for a start!

  • October 13, 2008 at 4:21 PM  

    It's a really interesting issue, but I'm leaning towards the "it's not such a good idea" end of the spectrum. In theory it sounds good, but--like danyell mentioned--it's pretty much segregation based on sexual orientation. I mean, what happens to those students who don't want to go to the special school? Will they get harassed even more because their intolerant peers think they should be "with the other queers"?

    Also, there was an interesting discussion about this over at The Feminist Underground a few days ago.

  • October 14, 2008 at 12:28 AM  

    My first thought was that this sounded like a reincarnation of those homes they shipped pregnant teens off to in the 40s and 50s.

    We should be working towards providing more lgbt awareness in the schools we have, rather than shipping our lgbt students off.