"Gay high school" opens in New York... Whaddya think?

Found an interesting story here on ABCNews.com. Apparently, it’s a school especially for GLBT students.

I want to comment on a couple of statements from the article in particular:

(Emphasis mine)

This makes me wonder if the cirriculum was decided by the Hetrick-Martin Institute or by someone else, because I find it rather odd that a “gay school” would choose to emphasize cooking. I’d almost call it a deliberate stereotype if it weren’t likely that a gay institute decided this.


I find this ironic, since it’s conservatives who want to treat gay kids differently, by telling them that they’re sinners, denying them the benefits of marriage, in some cases trying to forcibly convert them, etc.

Anyway, what do you think? Will this program work? How do you think it’ll be viewed once the students get to college? Do the benefits outweigh the disadvantages?

I can see that this may be the best alternative for some students, especially transgendered ones, who will more likely than not be persecuted no matter where they go. While I certainly don’t agree with segregation per se, I like that there’s at least an alternative for those who are tired of being beaten up every day for being who they are, especially since discrimination against them is often still openly condoned by the system all the way up to the White House (this, I think, is the key reason why I believe it to be an idea worth pursuing).


I wondered how long it would be before a thread was openned on this. Public schools for gays, huh? I thought we were supposed to “celebrate diversity”. Or is that “segregate diversity”? No. Public schools should be just that-- public and open to anyone. It will be interesting to see if the teachers need to be gay, too.

Separate but equal is never equal.

As long as it’s a private school, and as long as the students can pass competency tests at a reasonably average rate then I have no problem with it.

Personally, I wouldn’t send my kids there (even if they turn out to be homosexuals.) Generally I consider it to be a silly idea. But, I don’t like others telling me how to raise my kids, and I shouldn’t tell others how to raise their kids.

As a side note, it should be interesting to see if such an institution would qualify for school vouchers, just like the many Catholic schools. (That is IF vouchers become the law)

It’s a public school.

Sqwert: It’s a public school, as per the article.

If it were a private school, I’d say: Knock yourself out, go for it.

Is this an outgrowth of the old Harvey Milk School? There already was a “gay high school” of sorts in New York for kids who weren’t safe in the regular system.

I can understand the need for something like this – high school can be dangerous for queer youth, and there’s no way a person afraid for their lives can be expected to study and get good grades.

I think it’s a good idea, but with reservations. The real issue is making mainstream schools safe, but it’s unfair to expect students to be on the front line. How can they learn, if they’re constantly afraid?

While I understand the desire to create an educational environment where GLBT kids will not be harassed because of their sexual orientation, segregation is a a horrible way of responding to that need.

As a public school, I think this is very wrong. Even an atheist might expect a pillar of fire to descend from the heavens with this abuse of public money. If it were a private school that complied with local laws, then who who could protest? But to make this a public school, one that excludes others, is completely wrong. If other students must go to private schools to suit racial, ethnic, religious, etc. preferences, then how can this be a public school? It’s outrageous!

A side (retorical) question: Didn’t Bloomberg run as a Republican? I guess when you’re a trillionnaire, you can do whatever you want and not worry about losing the next election.

Well since It’s a public school, then I have a problem with it.

The argument about it being a solution for violence against gay students is foolish. If being bullied is a valid reason for wasting tax dollars on a “special school” then I suppose next we will have public schools for geeks, and public schools for Goths and public schools for band members, and public schools for class clowns, and public schools for kids with bad acne, etc…
Change it to a private school, and consequntly gather a few more supporters for school vouchers.

The public school part sounds wrong, I agree. At the same time, is anyone really surprised that there’s a need for this?

Hamish, the Harvey Milk School was my first thought as well. I’ve read articles about this.
I think what we need to do is address how gay students are treated in our public schools, and quit allowing the homophobes to decide what’s right.

Hmmm…even supposing being gay were a “preference,” if students were being ostracized, verbally abused, and in some cases assaulted for being Catholic or black, and the district wished to provide them with a safe space in which to gain their education, I’d have no problem with it. Plus, I see no point in the artcile that it’s exclusively for gay kids; rather, they constitute its target clientele. But if a straight kid with no homophobia wanted to attend there because it’s near his/her home and he/she wants to train to become a chef, I’d assume it would be no problem.

It is truly unfortunate, though, that NYC cannot protect the students in its schools to the extent that something like this is felt necessary.

And why is a public school with a special purpose a waste of taxpayers’ money, yoyo? Are you opposed to the Brnx High School of Science, the High School for the Performing Arts, etc.? I believe there are a couple of high schools targeting Chasidic youth in NYC, though that was just a concept when I read about it years ago, and I don’t know if it ever got implemented.

Actually, though, there are many public high schools in New York that do not practice “open admissions.” Three “Specialized Science High Schools” require admissions tests. Hunter College High School for the Humanities requires an admission test. LaGuardia High School for the Fine Arts and Performing Arts requires auditions. I’m not sure how Art & Design does their admissions, maybe by portfolio.

They exclude a LOT of students and remain public. (Yes, you can “fail” the exams/auditions, there is no recourse other than trying again next year.)

Because New York City offers school choice in high school admissions, I don’t think it is required that every high school admit every student. Every student has a “zoned” high school in their neighborhood which must admit them. Students can choose to apply to high schools other than their zoned school, and those schools can accept or reject them at their own descretion. Unzoned schools can set their own standards for admission.

I presume that the Harvey Milk school is not a zoned school so it does not have to take every student.

BTW, the school is tiny. I think they said it is expanding to admit 100 students? I went to Stuyvesant High School, one of the city’s Science High Schools – and by no means the largest high school in the city – and it contained 3000 nerds… er… students.

Is it wrong for geeks to voluntarily segregate themselves with other extremely academic-minded students? I don’t think so, and I’m cool with the New Harvey Milk school as well.

Dang, Polycarp beat me to my point. I um… went into more detail, though. Yessir.

Actually I do have a small problem with Bronx Science, and the other “specialized” public schools using more tax dollars per student than the regular schools. However . . .

Putting that aside for the moment, they still are quite different than the proposed public Gay School. The needed changes to the curriculum is what makes those schools different.

  1. They offer a curriculum that emphasizes a particular area of education where their students are more likely to eventually get employment. (Art, Performance, Science)

  2. They base admissions on talent and ability in their area of expertise. (Not anyone who want’s to be a dancer/artist/scientist gets in)

Can one study to be a professional homosexual? And how do you measure which kids are the most promising in that regard?

Many of you have said besically what I think but I’ll just add a few more points. No student, no matter what their gender, race, religion or sexual preference should have to endure abuse at a public school. NYC should be allocating these funds to crack down on the problem and provide support instead of segregating these students. What happens when the chess club’s had enough? They get their own school too?

Fuck diversity (not aimed at you, John Mace). This country shines best when it is a melting pot. Diversity is nothing but a fancy word for apartheid. How many communities are out there where people don’t even know the names of their closest neighbors? And now we want to separate out gay people! Good God in the morning.:smack:

This micro-mini-school is a complete waste of valuable resources in a city that is drowning in debt. The person responsible for this should be in jail for financial malfeasance.

If that is the reason for the school than it will have the opposite affect. Unless you have “GAY” written on your forehead you are just another kid at school. Walk out of “homosexual High” and you are now a target, as is the building itself.

Just curious: how many of you who oppose this school also oppose the NY girls-only public middle school emphasizing math and science?

[Disclosure: my stepmom is rather high up in the Office of Legal Counsel for the NY school system. Ironically, they sent my half-brother to private grade school; luckily, they can afford it. My stepmom’s take on the all-girls middle school, personally, was “if you want your kid to go to a single-sex school, send her to private school!” I don’t think she even realized how ludicrous an idea this was, given the average income of parents with kids in the NY public system and the cost of private schools. Oh well, what can I say; I don’t see eye to eye with her on too many things.]

I’m sorry – maybe it’s a failure of imagination on my part, but I can’t conceive of a student going through high school without the subject of relationships, dating, and sex coming up. And when it does, you have one of two options:[ol][]Live a lie, and watch the psychological effect of that take its toll on your schoolwork.[]Come out and put yourself at risk.[/ol]