Do Queer Students Need Another Separate School to Stay Safe? Yep

There’s the Hetrick-Martin Institute’s Harvey Milk High School in New York. The Minnesota-based GLBTQ Online High School on the web. And now a new project in Los Angeles, where LGBT students will have the chance to graduate from high school without being teased, tormented, and harassed on their way to class.

It’s a project, serving grades 7-12, between the multi-location charter school Opportunities for Learning and Lifeworks, the youth mentoring program that merged with the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center last year. Enrollment only began last month; three students will begin a curriculum in the next few weeks, taught by one teacher.

It’s a small start — and now that it’s getting press coverage, it’s likely to generate backlash from conservatives, who never see the need for separate schools for queer youth. But it’s also one of these Band-Aid approaches. LGBT student shouldn’t need a school like this just to get their diploma. And yet, it’s the only reasonable solution for many.

Just make sure there aren’t any gays teaching there, ya here?

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  • alan brickman

    Segregation doesn’t solve anything…plus the biggest bullies agays gays are usually…..other gays….

  • Fitz

    Aside from “needing it to feel safe” there may be a more positive side to letting GLB students feel surrounded by their own. haven’t you ever gone out with the simple goal of just needing to be around “your people” for a while?

  • Ryan

    Completely ridiculous. Lots of communities are seeing drastic cuts in educational funding. Who in their right mind could legitimately argue that they should spend their remaining pennies to segregate GLBT students who, upon graduating, will be thrust mostly unaware and unexperienced into the world from which they were removed? It’s a short sighted solution to much larger cultural problem. I wish these students could be made comfortable but the unfortunate reality is that these band-aid schools simply postpone the harsh realities they must learn to cope with and hopefully fight against.

  • Fitz

    It might be very interesting to read some of the writing of Malcome X, who advocated a period of personal growth around your own kind, so that you could re-join the big world feeling equal.

  • Peter

    Ryan :: do you suppose that it would be good that these kids are still alive, and they will received and education????

  • DR

    I’m torn on this issue.

    I recognize that there are issues with school bullying, and sometimes you can’t just say “get over it”. But…

    Segregation and ghettoizing ourselves, especially our youth, is NOT the answer, IMO.

  • Joey


    I hate this notion that being among other gays is somehow ghettoizing or segregating ourselves. IT IS NOT. It is possible to be an active participant in the gay community and be part of mainstream society at the same time. Blacks have certainly found that balance. Why do so many gays insist on hating themselves and their community so much? Sometimes we just need to be together, as Fitz said.

  • Cam

    My problem with this, is my problem with the whole DADT argument. Gays are supposed to sit back and have other people say “Gee, this person’s bigotry is much more important than your civil rights” Well here is a fucking idea, stop pussy fotting around and expel kids that are violent or dangerous. Some kid put a teacher in the hospital in Baltimore and only got suspended. this is ridiculous. If a kid is a habitual bully, maybe the parents would stop it if they knew that their kid was going to be kicked out and they would be responsible for driving the little criminals ass to the reform school everyt day.

  • Kyle24

    so should we have separate schools for red heads? fat kids? the short boys? the tall girls? the stuttering kids? nerds? kids with glasses? kids with braces?

    we need to address the issue at hand and school bullying is wrong no matter who is being teased and tormented. kick the bullies out.

    if we remove gay youth from integrated schools and place them in a vacuum to protect them how in the world are they ever going to deal with the real world when they grow up. the world isn’t a safe and secure place and part of going to school is learning from books, but also learning the hard knocks of life.

  • a m

    when we want to be seen as equals to everyone else, to take us out of general schools perpetuates the idea that we arent. also, if straight students arent exposed to gay people, the stereotypes and negative associations based on ignorance could return. alot of the reasons why people are so accepting of gays nowadays is because “my best friend was gay” or “there was a gay person in my class who was just like everyone else” etc. the whole idea of the WE ARE EVERYWHERE message deletes itself. if you want to be around other gays, start a gay club. if the school system is the one being negative, file with the aclu ;)

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