In Chicago, a high school for gay students?
The Chicago Tribune reports that the Windy City's superintendent is asking the board of education there to sign off on the creation of a high school for gay, lesbian and transgendered teens. The article says the Pride Campus "would incorporate lessons about sexual identity in literature and history classes and offer counseling."
The school proposal comes as a new study confirms the rampant harassment of gay students in the nation's middle and high schools. The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network says nearly nine in 10 of the 6,209 students it surveyed say they've been harassed in the past year. This leads to truancy, as gay students don't feel safe coming to school. And understandably, fears are heightened in the wake of the Larry King tragedy this year in California.
But is creating a separate school the answer? Or, as some gay-rights activists suggest in the article, should existing schools be working harder to foster acceptance? After all, children make fun of each other all the time for all kinds of reasons: because of the color of their skin or the religion they practice, because their families are poor, because they have a disability.
The Pride school would not be allowed to ask prospective students their sexual orientation (presumably, they would self-select). But it's hard to imagine the creation of a school designed to prevent any other minority group from being teased.