200 people met last night in Chicago to discuss a possible LGBT high school named, The Social Justice High School–Pride Campus. The school would offer college-prep classes. “Gay, lesbian and transgender students are often overlooked in our district.” Chad Weiden, who would be the school’s Principal, said.
Not everyone is excited about the idea. “My fear is that the rest of the system will be let off the hook. The notion that the Pride Campus is a silver bullet to set aside all needs of [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] youth is mistaken.” Andy Thayer, co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network said.
In NYC, we’ve had success with the 2002 public accreditation of the GLBT Harvey Milk School – with a 95% graduation rate.
Mr. Thayer is lucky that he isn’t currently attending one of Chicago’s tougher schools. Pride Campus would serve GLBT youth who have been victims of harsh intolerance and whose parents don’t have the money to send them to a liberal private school. Schools like Harvey Milk and Campus Pride are a great way to give kids a safe education now, while school officials continue to teach tolerance to the broader student population. The Pride Campus won’t be the “silver bullet” for ALL the needs of GLBT youth, but it will certainly be the silver bullet for those lucky enough to attend who have been the victims of abuse and bullying.