First public gay high school to open in NYC Monday, July 28, 2003 Posted: 1:31 PM EDT (1731 GMT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City is creating the nation's first public high school for gays, bisexuals and transgender students.
The Harvey Milk High School will enroll about 100 students and open in a newly renovated building in the fall. It is named after San Francisco's first openly gay city supervisor, who was assassinated in 1978.
"I think everybody feels that it's a good idea because some of the kids who are gays and lesbians have been constantly harassed and beaten in other schools," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday. "It lets them get an education without having to worry."
The school is an expansion of a two-classroom public school program that began in 1984. A gay-rights youth advocacy group, the Hetrick-Martin Institute, has managed and financed the program since its inception.
The new school's principal, William Salzman, said the school will be academically challenging and will follow mandatory English and math programs. It also will specialize in computer technology, arts and culinary arts.
State Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long criticized the creation of the school.
"Is there a different way to teach homosexuals? Is there gay math? This is wrong," Long said. "There's no reason these children should be treated separately."
The Hetrick-Martin Institute's Web site says the school will give its students "an opportunity to obtain a secondary education in a safe and supportive environment. ... We believe that success requires the ability to respect and value the diverse human community."
Ummmm....I think I'll sit back and let the righties have their fun with this story, because I really have nothing positive to add to this. This idea just seems screwed up to me, not only because it segregates these kids, but it does nothing to deal with the problems causing them to want to get out of the mainstream schools. The idea should be to teach normal kids it's not cool to beat up the gay kid, not that if you beat him up enough we'll take him away.
But yeah, like I said, I'll let the right-wing at this, they deserve something good to beat on from time to time :)
I can see the logic in this, after a fashion. I'd have a hard time looking a gay kid in the eye and telling him to just man up and take the beatings, if in fact they are being beaten as the article states. That being said, I'd rather spend that money on police, and simply enforce order in the existing school. We're not going to get anywhere if we just boil society down to its component parts.
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It would be segregation if homosexual students were being forced to attend the school against their will, with no choice in the matter. If they kids themselves are making the choice of whether they want to stay at their current school or go to the new one, then there's really no problem (yet). It's just an odd idea that is rife with material for many, many tasteless jokes, most involving locker room activities.
The problems will arrive if the high school is paid for by tax dollars and excludes heterosexual students, especially if it turns out that the kids in the homosexual school are getting a better education. Which they probably will, since it's going to be a small school and then some straight kid's gonna want in and the shit will start raining down. The article doesn't seem to clearly specify if it will be funded with tax money, though it calls it a public school. That's the call of the New York taxpayers; if they don't care, neither do I. Actually, I don't care one way or the other, but I imagine there will be way too much of a fuss made about this school.
I agree with spf2119; the point should be to teach kids not to beat up people simply because they're different (gay, fat, stupid, Canadian, wait; those are all synonyms). The only appropriate reasons are a) insulting your mother and b) fans of the wrong sports team. If you've got the balls to walk around the streets of NYC in a BoSox cap, you're probably ready to fight someone anyway. But I digress.
In summary: it's a good idea in theory, though maybe not in practice, but it should be a privately-funded school that a person should choose to attend.
When's the first public heterosexual high school opening up?
This whole notion is very odd to me. I can understand people wanting to live without persecution or harm for their personal beliefs, but I don't think just separating everyone into different groups publically is the right way to go. I mean if you go to a public school you should be able to learn, cooperate, and tolerate with people of all different orientations, ethnicities, races, etc.
I go to UT which has a very large, diverse student body. However, all the kids seem to enjoy remaining in the same, separate "groups of people" so to speak. If one didn't go to class, some might guess that segregation still exists there.
(edited by The Vile1 on 28.7.03 1627)
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Originally posted by The Vile1I can understand people wanting to live without persecution or harm for their personal beliefs, but I don't think just separating everyone into different groups publically is the right way to go. I mean if you go to a public school you should be able to learn, cooperate, and tolerate with people of all different orientations, ethnicities, races, etc.
The issue is choice. Segregation means you don't have a say - but if you are choosing to be around people with similar backgrounds in order to avoid being persecuted, then its a much different issue. I'm sure that if the homosexuals were not being harassed then they would not feel a need to attend a school such as this. It's the same issue with race, more or less.
Unfortunately, schools like this detract from the value of the other public institutions be detracting from the diversty of the students. But that's the fault of the idiots who drive these students away...
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A little background on the morass that is the New York Public School System:
Essentially, you get a default neighborhood high school - which 9 times out of ten sucks - and then you apply to "specialty" high schools that usually require tests and auditions and such. You might get into the smart kids school, or the Fame school, or the school where they teach you how to fix airplanes. It depends on what you put down as your choice and your test scores/auditions and who your folks bribe and such.
The "gay" school, I'm pretty sure, is just one of those specialty schools. You put it down as first choice and you'll get in. That is, until you get more people putting it down as their choice than there are spots, then you have to have some kind of vetting system. What the criteria will be I don't know. I highly doubt they make you demonstrate your gayness, I'm assuming it'll probably just be an essay on why you want to go there. In fact, other than calling it a "gay" school, I doubt there's anything that separates it from a non-gay school.
If you had told me in High School that I could choose to go to the Gay school, I'd have laughed myself silly.
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Originally posted by MoeGatesEssentially, you get a default neighborhood high school - which 9 times out of ten sucks - and then you apply to "specialty" high schools that usually require tests and auditions and such.
I have no problem with having such a system of applying to magnet shools that teach certain subjects, etc. That provides a better opportunity for folks to succeed in life by getting an opportunity to learn more about what they love, or what they do well.
But an all gay public school adds nothing of value to society. If they'd like to do this in a private school though, go for it.
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Dont agree with it. Not one little bit. It just seems like a way of shielding kids from the realities of life which is only gonna leave them totally unprepared when they go out into that big bad world.
So they're getting picked on? Newsflash, kids can be bastards and will always pick on other kids for any number of reasons. Take away one minority as a target and not only are you doing nothing to tackle the problem but you can also be sure the bullies will move onto some other poor kid thus creating a whole new problem. What next, Ginger academy? Glass-wearers High?
I am 50/50 on this thing. For issues of safety, fitting in, sure, whatever.
The problem is, nobody's looking at the real problem, which is the plague of our society.
Wht is this school opening? Why are homosexual students (if it is the case in NY) feeling unsafe in school? Lack of education in school, and lack of understanding or intelligence at home. No matter what is done, or said or taught, homosexuality in America is seen as taboo and disgusting. Therefore, kids groe up thinking this, not understanding this, and for some, ultimately hating this. Hate, and ignorance creates fear and violence. The real issue here is, education, NOT tolerance. And education not in the scholastic sense.
Sadly, there are still people in this great country of ours that see race and women in the same light. SIGH
If this was private I would have no problem with it of course, but it's not. Well, at least they've finally found a way to get Manhattanites to support the equivalent of school vouchers: Only apply them to gays.
This whole debate really just boils down to the issue of school choice, and the people that would benefit the most from it. If there is really strong demand for this from the gay community, then someone in New York should open up a private school just for gay kids, and make a lot of cash. Why can't the private sector handle this demand?
The idea that this is public policy is absurd, and seems to be another example of politicians begging for the gay vote.
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