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the new segregation

Yes, everyone and their blog-brother is commenting on New York's gay public high school, but that won't stop me from adding my two cents.

I've always been a big advocate of gay rights, but this decision does not sit right with me.

This is a typical liberal suggestion: stigmatize the victim, reward the victimizer. While I do believe these kids will benefit from a fear-free environment in which to learn, I see too many ways this is a bad, bad idea.

Basically, the public school system in New York is saying "we can't handle the problem of gay bashing in our schools, so we'll just make the mess go away by making the gay students go away."

What a boon the public school administrators. They don't have to deal with support groups, weeping students, harassment lawsuits and the whole sticky mess that erupts when gay students want to go to the prom together. They are, in effect, kowtowing to the anti-gay crowd by doing this, while trying to come off as champions of gay rights.

What kind of precedent do they set when they feel the best way to deal with bullying and harrasment in schools is to remove the victims from the schools? Why isn't the administration taking care of the people who are actually doing the victimizing? Where is the reform school for bullies?

Remember that problem I had with DJ and his bully this past school year? Remember how I was angered that the administration wanted to find out what made the bully tick, and whether or not my son had been sending out signals that he should be picked on? Now, imagine if they had suggested my son go to a special school for kids who are picked on. Remove him from the situation and it goes away, right? Wrong. I wouldn't have stood for it.

By removing the gay kids from the situation, they are giving the bullies and gay-bashers a clear win. Those strong-armed kids will now be thinking "Hey, if there's a group of people I don't like, I can just pick on them until the school gets rid of them for me."

This is not sound thinking on the part of NYC schools. They have done nothing to reduce the harassment, nothing to teach the bullies about proper behavior and respecting fellow human beings, nothing to punish the kids who reduce others to tears because they are different.

This is where our society has gone wrong and it's completely a liberal thing. All this nonsense about feelings, and all the touchy-feely handling of victimizers has gotten out of hand. Columbine was a result of that. Columbine was not a gun issue. It was an issue of kids getting to the breaking point because no one would hear them, no one would dare blame the bullies and instead blamed the kids for looking or acting different than your normal, run-of-the-mill jock or class president.

So what happens when the gay students are shuttled off to another school? I know what it does not do. It does not make the situation any better, it only sweeps a portion of the situation under the rug. You're still left with bigoted, small minded kids in the other school. You have not taught them anything good. The only lesson learned here is that if you act brutish enough, people will remove your enemies out of your way. What a fabulous lesson to take out into the world after high school, eh?

I also imagine that the high school will become a focal point for anti-gay activists, now that they know where to find a whole bunch of gay kids in one place. It's like sticking a target on their head and yelling "Ready, Aim, Fire!" to their opponents.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference the new segregation:

» Special Ed for Gay Kids? from Uncategorical
It’s extremely incongruous that New York City wants to provide separate schooling for gay high-school students at a time when every other kind of minority is being “mainstreamed” or “included.” Do they think that gays are so completely different from ... [Read More]

» School Segregation from Babalu Blog
Michele of A Small Victory hits the nail on the head in regards to the new gay high school in NYC. I thought I was alone in my thinking, but I was wrong.... [Read More]

» The deeper issue brought shallow. from The S-Train Canvass
Michele and many other canvassers have been talking about NYC's gay public high school. I have no initial reaction or... [Read More]

» The deeper issue brought shallow. from The S-Train Canvass
Michele and many other canvassers have been talking about NYC's gay public high school. I have no initial reaction or... [Read More]

» Both Sides Now from Sketches of Strain
Rossi and Michele both have important things to say about Harvey Milk High School in New York City. I tend to come down on Rossi's side of this discussion, although I think it is a stretch to say that Rossi... [Read More]

» Another Comment On Harvey Milk High from Now That Everyone Else Has One
As Michele puts it: "What kind of precedent do they set when they feel the best way to deal with... [Read More]

» Thing One and Thing Two from swirlspice
I was gonna weigh in on the whole Harvey Milk School issue, but my brain hurts thinking about it. Suffice it to say that I see the need for a safe haven for gay kids, but I'm not sure this... [Read More]

Comments

You make some really good points, but I think you might be coming from the wrong direction. It's not like every gay kid in the city is forced to go to this school. This school has been around for years, and yes it's a haven for the kids who feel they really need it, or just a cool school with "kids like me." There will still be plenty of gay and lesbians students who do not choose to go to this gay high school. Just the operation of this school does not get the city or district out of all the issues you raised.

Actually, this school hasn't been around for years. It's not even opened yet.

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.

Wrote about this yesterday, and I would agree with all your points, although I'd like to add this: what happens to students who decide they're really not gay? what happens to the kid who decides he was experimenting? do these kids get expelled? what about the kid who says he's gay to get in, because it sounds like a pretty nice school (teaching the arts and the culinary arts? rock on!)? if he's "outed" as straight, does he no longer get these special programs?

beyond the bad messages it sends about how we deal with the differences in our children, there's also logistical issues and rank paternalism and preferentialism you have to deal with.

Isn't "separate but equal" unconstitutional - regardless of the "separation"?

It's an absurd idea. It's a form of segregation, for starters. It undermines the whole idea of public education, which is taking people from different backgrounds and creating one society out of them.

If it's a good school, it's going to have the issue (raised above) that straight kids will want to go there. It's balkanism, PCism and factionalism run amok. It raises questions about curriculum that need to be addressed in detail: "Gay math" or regular math but students happen to be gay? I'm afraid to consider the word problems if the curriculum is to be gay ...

It validates the idea of "gay rights," which is silly to begin with, and equates them with past, more legitimate struggles for equality under the law. It takes attention and money from real, pressing problems. There's also the question of the nickname for the school and the potential for rioting and violence in interscholastic sporting events.

Finally, this kind of decision is a provocation and slap across the face of those who hold traditional ideas about gender, the raising of children, and civil rights. Many of us get tired of being called bigots and intolerant for recognizing that children are sensitive to the idea of sexuality, and many children get confused during their teens -- but most will come out OK with good orderly direction from society, their families and other adults. (This point is actually more nuanced than it looks. I'm not saying gays are not OK; I'm saying that teens who are not gay may experiment in ways that prove detrimental later on.)

I'm not saying gays are bad, or anything of the sort. But many gays have formed a political faction and they are trying to impose their ideas on the society at large -- and they are calling resistance to that agenda bigotry. It's frustrating to deal with.

It's like someone asking you to pick up a bill in a restaurant, and then calling you Lester Maddox when you refuse.

FWIW.

I agree with you on a lot of points. In addition is seems fiscally irresponsible to spend 3.2 million on just 100 students.
Also there is a class problem, this scholl is not accessable to everyone, it is most accessable to those living in Manhattan and especially the upper east side.
Would I have less problems with it if i were in the Bronx or Queens? Yes but it is still a bad idea.

Quote: I'm not saying gays are bad, or anything of the sort. But many gays have formed a political faction and they are trying to impose their ideas on the society at large -- and they are calling resistance to that agenda bigotry.

A political faction gays trying to impose their ideas on society ? What ideas ? That they should be treated the same as anyone else ? That they shouldn't be discriminated against ?

I've heard a lot of people say similar things. What it boils down to is this - You are ok with people being gay, so long as it is the result of years of anguish and guilt, at the end of a long struggle when they MIGHT out themselves to the world when they are 30. Is that it ?

I'm really not sure what your point about teenagers is. Please explain the difference between two 14 year olds having sex, whether it be a boy and a girl, or two boys. There is none. It's a bad idea all around. But it is going to happen. Your sheltering them from the idea that what they are doing is "right" or "wrong" is not going to change their behavior - same as general sex ed doesn't lead to MORE sex, only less risky sex. And God forbid a couple kids should experiment and one of them finds out, hey I am gay.

I'm sorry, but it is bigotry. You can rationalize it all you want, but it's still the same in the end.

Sorry to hijack the thread that way. I definitely agree with Michele's point. Bullies and the lack of any policy to deal with them led to Columbine and from what I've seen, NOTHING has changed. This is just a bad way to deal with it.

Troll King, you are way off on so many things.

It raises questions about curriculum that need to be addressed in detail: "Gay math" or regular math but students happen to be gay

This is intended to be a school where gay and transgender students can learn in a non-hostile environment. Who said anything about making the curriculum gay-centric?

It validates the idea of "gay rights," which is silly to begin with, and equates them with past, more legitimate struggles for equality under the law

How is the idea of gay rights silly? And why should that idea not be compared to past struggles when gays have suffered the same struggle as others - to be accepted in society and to live without fear of losing jobs, loans, friends, etc. because of their "difference."

Finally, this kind of decision is a provocation and slap across the face of those who hold traditional ideas about gender, the raising of children, and civil rights.

No, this decision just speaks very clearly of the need to educate those who "hold traditional ideas about gender, the raising of children..." to learn a little tolerance of people who don't live life exactly like them.

But many gays have formed a political faction and they are trying to impose their ideas on the society at large --

Oh yes, the Gay Agenda™. Watch out, they're coming to your neighborhood to turn you gay!!!

I think segregating gay students is a bad way to deal with the problem of bullies. Just push the gay students under the rug, and don't hold the bullies accountable for their behavior. And this school's existence is predicated on the idea that there'll be no harrasment or bullying. Everyone will get along just fine and form one big happy family.

If I were speaking my voice would be heavy with sarcasm.

This school is a shitty idea for the reasons Michele has already outlined, and it's a shitty idea for the reason that these kids will not exit the high school as well-adjusted, well-rounded young people. All they'll be familiar with is being separated from everyone else who is "like them" (why one's sexual preference has a damn thing to do with education, PUBLIC education no less, is beyond me) and herded off to their own special little corral. So from there, they'll go to all-gay colleges? Or will they attend colleges that don't segregate, and if so, will they be slapped in the face by the shock of encountering the occasional anti-gay bigot? You know, in the real world and all, where 3 million dollars of public money is not spent on everyone who gets made fun of?

If the only reason this school is being created is so the gay students won't have to endure harassment from bigoted peers, then I say the whole thing is a big, stupid idea, a gigantic waste of taxpayers' money, and a horribly, horribly shitty way to "deal" with the problem of gay students being harassed. A typically liberal halfassed patch-up to "solve" the problem.

Also, I'll add that this is yet another reason for school vouchers-- your kid's being bothered? Send 'em to Happy Gay Bigot-Free Private High School. With your own money.

Oops, that should be-

"All they'll be familiar with is being separated from everyone else who ISN'T "like them"..."

hi michelle
i do see where you are coming from
but a few things
i do know that the harvey milk school
has been around in nyc for years
in some way
i thought about volunteering there years ago
so i dont know
maybe it was considered a private school before and now is public?

not sure
but its been around

you see
we do have to change the way our schools works
as far as the intense harrassment
kids can get to the point of
turning them into murderers
hello columbine

but for kids who are obviously gay or transgender
who can only look forward to 4 years of being beaten and harrassed in high school
why not save them?

why not prevent their possible suicides

look i did not know i was gay in high school
but i did sleep with women
that fact that i also dated boys
saved me from any kind of public harrassment

the kids in high school just thought i was
a bad ass rock and roll mama
and i kep my bisexual ways to myself
but i also could fit in in some way

i have met gay kids who do not have this choice

they are clearly, clearly gay
in an extremely obvious way

and especially in the case of very feminine gay boys

the ordeal they are put through is just staggering

i do think schools should have their asses kicked
every time when of their kids has his/her ass kicked

but i also think its great that there is a place to go
if your kid wants to have a healthy happy
high school experience

listen
its by choice
its not segregation

these kids can decide to go
or not to go
and their parents of course decided too

this is just giving them a place to go
that might save their life

Michele, I agree with you... but I don't agree with you.

You can't stop the bullying. Sure, you can act when it gets violent, but namecalling, being left out, harassed in a million ways, treated like you're dirt - you can't stop that because you can't police that. You can't tell kids they have to bloody well like their classmates or else.

And just how gay is this school, anyway? Are straight people banned from joining or is it like French Immersion where most people will stay away just cause it's so damn... uh, gay?

As much as I see why you think it's a bad idea, I don't see what else will work. Racism is pretty much a fringe ideology these days, but homophobia is as common as belief in astrology. In 20-30 years homophobia will be a fringe ideology, too. But I don't see why a generation of children have to wait for the rest of the world to come to their senses.

Michele:

First of all, it's ironic that this is the first post of mine you've responded to, Remember all the nice things I've said here :)

The telling exchange is this.

I wrote: "Finally, this kind of decision is a provocation and slap across the face of those who hold traditional ideas about gender, the raising of children, and civil rights."

You responded: "No, this decision just speaks very clearly of the need to educate those who 'hold traditional ideas about gender, the raising of children...' to learn a little tolerance of people who don't live life exactly like them."

Uh. You're a bit condescending here and thus make my point for me. You're assuming traditional ideas don't include tolerance. The intolerance is on your side, because you're the one assuming the traditionalists need re-education. Traditional ideas about civility and good manners go a long way to dealing with most of this stuff. But no, we traditionalists need a lesson in manners.

Michele, as for your ridiculing the "gay agenda", oh c'mon, did you really think "catching gay" was what I was talking about?

Sherard: We can differ in our opinions but if you presume bigotry (or homophobia, one of the silliest terms ever invented) as the first cause of your opponents' arguments (In this case, mine), there isn't a whole lot to discuss, is there? Part of what I'm getting at is the form of the "gay rights" debate has shut off debate.

I'm not that old [21] but in my Jr. year in high school I was very good friends with a freshman, who was gay. He wasn't completely open [his parents didn't know] but everyone else in school did. And he even had a fling with another kid who claimed he was bi [again, his parents didn't know either]. These boys were never picked on, never beaten up. They didn't flaunt who they were, they told one friend, who told one friend, and so on. And like all teenage relationships, theirs ended, and they moved on. By my senior year, there were a few more gay and bi students that were open [more with other students, than their parents] and some were even having relationships with each other. Again, there were no fights, no bashings, nothing. And my school has a pretty bad reputation for violence, racism, and the like.
On one hand, it's nice for those kids to have a place to share with other kids just like them, but on the other hand, there are other people that are just as understanding elsewhere.
The main thing I'm worried about is like Michele said, "will become a focal point for anti-gay activists, now that they know where to find a whole bunch of gay kids in one place."
What used to be the harrassment of one or two "different" kids, can now become a war zone, full of bomb threats, bashings, and protests by outsiders.
Personally, I'd rather go to a school and deal with one or two bastard bullies, than go to my school and have a group of crazy people shouting at me that "God hates fags".

I move that the word "racism" be officially changed, at LEAST on a national level, to "raceophobia," regardless of the fact that it would make the word less descriptive and therefore less useful. Then this way, it'll sound more like the almost-always-misused "homophobia" and then we can all be on the same level when it comes to accusing each other of not just hating things, but being afraid of them as well. Don't like the hotter brands of salsa? You're a "spiceophobe." Don't like geriatric scuba-diving orangutans? You're an "ageo-aqua-primato-phobe."

Here's me, nitpicking about accuracy of speech and wordage. Sorry, Sam (not a personal attack on you), but I guess this would make me a "vagueophobe," because not only do I hate it when the misuse of certain words becomes so common that it ends up going virtually unchallenged, I'm afraid of it. It gives me the heebie-jeebies, or something. =)

Racism, sexism, _ism, it all starts with a separation of the target from the rest of the group and applying some generality to that sub-group. It doesn't matter if it's good or bad, it's still _ism. All this school is going to do is increase dramatically the number of times gay students in the other schools hear "Why don't you get the fuck out of here and take your gay ass to that gay fucking school so you can be with all your gay buddies." Just like blacks and whites going to school together forces them to deal with each other, gays and straights going to school together forces them to figure each other out. Separating them only serves to increase homophobia because the straight kids go back to not knowing any gays and it's always easier to fear the unknown.

Besides, if all the gay kids go to a different school, how the hell is my kid gonna learn any fashion sense at all?

Troll King:

First of all, I didn't assume anything. I gave you a good argument why what you are saying is bigotry. Here's a definition:

Bigot - a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices

Tell me what motivates you on this topic if I am so wrong. It seems to me, it is that homosexuality is wrong, it is bad. If you are an adult, however, you are allowed to make that choice, it seems, as that choice has less effect on YOU. If, however, in general homosexuals are afforded the EXACT same rights as everyone else, if they are allowed to be seen as normal everyday citizens then - HORROR - others might actually follow them. Your children might grow up to thing - HORROR - homosexuality isn't bad, worse yet - they might even BE gay.

If that's not the case then, by all means, explain yourself. Good luck!

I can see some valid points on both sides. I'd imagine that being openly gay in a public high school might get you in a lot of shit. Hell, I got in a lot of shit because I was relatively intelligent, what would now be called a nerd - this is in pre-gifted program days. So maybe a safe haven for gay students is a good idea.

OTOH the school will only enroll 100 students. I have no idea how large the student population in NYC is, but if you accept the commonly published statistic that 10% of the general population is gay then 100 students is a drop in the bucket. What do the other gay kids, who can't get in to Harvey Milk, do?

I can see this actually making things worse for the majoriy of gay students. 'Faggot! Go to Harvey Milk!'. I can also see administrators in straight schools ignoring gay-bashing, after all, if the kid doens't like it he has an alternative.

Finally, I just don't like the idea of institutionalized segregation, whether voluntary or not. We do not provide publically funded schools where white supremacists or Black Panthers can voluntarily segregate themselves. One can argue that the right to voluntary segregation cannot be predicated on a political belief, that it must be based on some inherent property, something the student has no control over. But in many school systems across the country physically and mentally handicapped students are 'main-streamed'. They are not provided with an alternative to the bog-standard public school.

Finally (whew, this is longer than I'd planned), what happens to the gay student mentioned by a previous poster, who is openly gay at school but still in the closet as far as their family is concerned? Is forcing that child out going to help him or her?

I'd rather see an initiative across all public schools to reduce or eliminate gay-bashing. For 3.2 million you could fund a pretty decent initiative.

Troll King didn't say, or even really imply any "HORROR!" anywhere in his argument.

He did say "if you presume bigotry... as the first cause of your opponents' arguments (In this case, mine), there isn't a whole lot to discuss, is there?" and that seems to be exactly what's going on.

Leave out stuff like "- HORROR! -" and maybe a mutually beneficial discussion can be allowed to take place.

And now I'll stop butting in like some kind of rude jackass. Sorry. =)

Well all the King has to do is explain the basis for his opinion. That's all. I have given a plausible liklihood.

You can say it with pretty words like "...traditional values for gender and raising children..." But until that is explained in a way that means something other than - "boys aren't meant to be with boys and I won't let my children grow up to think otherwise", I stand by my description of it as bigotry. Nevermind that the definition of bigot isn't nearly as bad as I would have expected.

Sounds to me like Michele agrees.

Sherard, while I don't agree with your cop-bashing on the other post, I agree with you here.

i would just like Troll King who, depsite his name, is not a troll and has been nothing short of a gentleman on this site, to clarify his statements a bit more.

You know, Michele, I figured it was probably 95% sure that you would NOT agree with me on the cop thing. The reason is where you live. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but you live relatively close to NYC out there on the Island. And when I've lived IN a city the police are useful and not incompetent. But ANYWHERE I have lived that Is NOT a city, well, I think you know what I'm saying.

I also realize that you are likely to have a lot more dealings with the police in your line of work than I. And I imagine in the course of your day / week / month, you hear and see a lot of things that support the police are doing their jobs every day thing.

I have no problem with that. I know there are good ones. My problem is with the ones that aren't. And really, in the whole cat shooting neighbor thing, it's not the police failing to act that upsets me, it's the harassment of my wife when they responded to my neighbor's complaint that she called him a "cat-killer". Not only is that pathetic and lame of my neighbor - cowardly cat killer that he is - but then the fact that the 911 service didn't hang up on such a lame call and then the police actually show up and give her a hard time. That just chaps my ass, man. That's the kind of thing that drives me to say, name and SSN and you better have a damn warrant to step on my property. Otherwise, get back in your car and head on back to Dunkin' Donuts.

Hell, I got in a lot of shit because I was relatively intelligent, what would now be called a nerd - this is in pre-gifted program days. So maybe a safe haven for gay students is a good idea.

I was waiting for someone to bring this up.

I am myself a product of "gifted" programs. I even went to a special nerd camp, as we called it. I am also gay, though this didn't come to light until after high school. There is a huge difference between creating programs for gifted students and separating gay students into special schools.

Gifted students are not removed from standard classrooms because of harassment or so that they can be with "their own kind." It is rather so that they may be allowed to reach their full potential and not be held back by teachers and other students who simply cannot keep up with them. The social issues which arise from separate gifted programs is hotly debated, at least among us smart kids and the administrators and opponents of our programs, but these issues are not the primary motivating factor behind these programs. Rather, it is to allow smart kids to be smart in a classroom environment and not endure the intellectual and psychological damage which can result from being restricted from reaching one's full intellectual potential.

The difference between this and the case of gay students and special programs is that the primary function of this school, it seems, is to remove the victims from hostile environments, not to nurture "gayness." Yes, it is beneficial to gay students to be able to surround themselves with supportive like-minded/oriented people, but that is what GSA clubs are for, just like in my high school there was a Greek club and an Anime club and a Christian Fellowship club and two Jewish clubs, one religiously oriented and one secularist, and we had GLASS (gays lesbians and straight suporters)... all of these organizations were dedicated to creating a supportive high school environment for our extremely diverse student body. the idea is not to tolerate intolerance in ANY school.

Now, if you want to create a school which is specifically vocally gay-frendly and dedicated to the promotion of similar values in the rest of the school system, that is totally cool. I just don't get the logic of creating an exclusively gay school, especially taking into account the fluid nature of sexuality and identity, especially in the high school years.

"Oh yes, the Gay Agenda™. Watch out, they're coming to your neighborhood to turn you gay!!!"

um, we arent going ahead with the agenda?

but i had color coded invasion plans and everything. i better call chairman rummy and the rest of the cabal to notify them of this setback.

does this mean operation queer eye is canceled too?

"OTOH the school will only enroll 100 students. I have no idea how large the student population in NYC is, but if you accept the commonly published statistic that 10% of the general population is gay then 100 students is a drop in the bucket. What do the other gay kids, who can't get in to Harvey Milk, do?"

the student population of the new york city school system is currently about 1.1 million and growing.

so they are going to get no where near a sizable number of the gay student population. the real concern is exactly what you said... administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, and students are already horribly anti-gay (plenty of first hand experience with that one) and this will only give them more fuel.

like you said, if they dont like the harrasment and violence they are going to be ignored even more and told to go to harvey milk.

Thanks, Michele. That's very kind.

And thanks, Geoff. Appreciate your comments.

Sherard, I'm really not going to get into a discussion on whether or not I'm a bigot. It's a too predictable and boring discussion, for one thing, and second, it's off topic.

michele's right about giving them a bigass target. it's like putting all the sheep in one pen, when u know wolves are up and about.

i know this isn't the point of discussion, but i'm wondering whether the girls or the guys would be the cheerleaders...

Oh, come on now. What a cop out. Michele asked you to clarify your position and if it isn't bigotry, then you should be jumping at the chance to prove us wrong.

I mean are you flat out admitting that "traditional ideas about gender and raising children" does equate, "boys shouldn't be with boys and I won't raise my children to think otherwise"? If so, you're right, there is nothing to debate whatsoever.

I'm so divided on this issue, and many of my concerns with the school are the same as yours. At first I had the exact same thoughts that you did, but then I realized - I support school choice and homeschooling, and one could make a very similar argument against those - by giving options that only some people will take advantage of (or even want to take advantage of), we remove incentive for their school to make positive and necessary changes. But those changes aren't being made anyway, and I don't think that kids who are gay/being harassed/not learning anything should be forced to suffer in failing schools for the greater good. It's tough.

But my main concern (further to Scott's point) is that I've read that three quarters of kids who are harassed for being gay aren't gay. And this high school isn't for them.

Er, that was me, above.

i support school choice and homeschooling too. im also not straight (labels are pretty restrictive, lets just say i like whoever i like regardless of sex/gender). hell im even a youth rights "activist" (ive been on the board of one of the only national youth rights orgs in existance for 5 years, im running for the board of one of the others right now, and im in the middle co-creating a youth driven 501c4). so the progay, prostudent, proyouth perspective is pretty native to me.

this whole harvey milk school announcement thing just really doesnt sit well with me. if all of us here were involved in making it work out well it might be a different story, but i dont have any faith in the officials in charge of this. they seem to care more about scoring political points with various voting groups by "fixing the school system" through seperating out the victims rather than actually dealing with the blatant problems head on.

oh yeah, and i went to high school in one of these public-private partnership schools, like this harvey milk school is, that were created within the last decade or so in the city. ive experience up close the way the original good intentions get mismanaged into being nothing more than yet another lowest common denominator school.

my school happened to be another 1st in the nation. the first full fledged public high school for environmental studies. in the first few years it was great... now its just another failed project torn apart by negligence, aimlessness, and internal political bickering.

I believe the kids that go to the Gay School are actually harmed more then if they stayed in regular schools. Because if they're gay, they're going to get Picked on no matter where they go in life. Some worse then others, but there will always be oposition. These kids when they get into the real world will be at a loss because they wont have a "haven" they can go to by just filling out some paperwork.

Balagan makes some good points. This is really more about the politics of the school board than anything else.

I mean, the real issues confronting the school system are very difficult to address, so why not divert attention?

I haven't taught in NYC, but I did teach in inner-city Philly (complete with a mini-police precinct, eight cops, posted inside during school hours), and the big issue, it seemed to me, was the kids knew they could get away with a lot -- and pushed things as far as they could.

The teachers and the administration simply could not cope with the discipline problems, and a critical mass of bad kids (only about 10 percent) simply made teaching any kind of content next to impossible.

If NYC is having similar problems (and my friends in the Peace Corps-Fellows program in New York suggested things were just as bad) then the school board may be tempted to score points where they can.

Sherard, part of the problem is that your definition of a bigot is incomplete and misleading, according to my Webster's.

It's defined there as "one fanatically devoted to his own (insert list of possible groupings here) and intolerant of those who differ."

That's always the problem with charged terms - the person who gets to define them is more than half-way to winning the argument. Not to start digressions in this thread, but examples abound, and I'm sure we can all come up with some without much thought.

By your definition, anyone who likes vanilla ice cream better than any other flavor is a bigot. By Webster's definition, they're only a bigot if they discriminate against people who prefer pistachio.

Troll King may need to explain his position further, but as I read his original post, it wasn't bigotry by the Webster's definition.

TK, i thought i responded to you here about nyc public schools and teachers and such... but it either got lost or eaten or something. ive been doing a lot of posting today so i may have reloaded the window without pushing post. oh well. im way too tired to write anymore right now though so i look foward to seeing whether this discussion is still active when i wake up from a nice long nap.

Enjoy naptime, Balagan.

Thanks, Wheels. But now I want ice cream, but not pistachio.

You're right, wheels, I thought that definition was pretty bland, but it was the Meriam's Dictionary definition. What can I say.

I think the eery silence of the clarification makes it pretty clear.

Oh Jebus, Sherard, give it up already ...

When I saw this, I, too, thought it was a very bad idea. They're not dealing with the fact that they have biggoted kids out there beating up gays -- they're just moving the gays away from them. How are people to learn about and adjust to different people if they aren't exposed to them? How do you learn that being black/gay/whatever is just different, not bad, when you never see them, when they're sent off to their own special school?

Totally agree with you here. On all points. Most excellent.

I decided to argue FOR the school. Just thought it'd be fun... It's on my new blog.

if anyone's going to read it, please forgive me if I have grammer mistakes.. still working on my English ;-)

wait until it becomes a good highschool and they won't let in straight people. Liberals=idiots