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open discussion

I love open, honest discussion. Of course, that only happens when you have two open, honest people who are willing to listen to someone else's point of view. Which is why I love emaling with . Rossi She makes some very good, personal points in response to my take on the gay high school issue.

Go read. I mean, you should be reading Rossi anyhow.




Thanks Sis and Mal...but the guy who wrote that article wrote it with a very homophobic point of view, which is not my view at all.

did you read the article, i think he is making a legal arguement

The person presenting an argument is attacked instead of the
argument itself. This takes many forms. For example, the
person's character, nationality or religion may be attacked.
Alternatively, it may be pointed out that a person stands to
gain from a favourable outcome. Or, finally, a person may be
attacked by association, or by the company he keeps.
There are three major forms of Attacking the Person:
(1) ad hominem (abusive): instead of attacking an assertion,
the argument attacks the person who made the assertion.
(2) ad hominem (circumstantial): instead of attacking an
assertion the author points to the relationship between the
person making the assertion and the person's circumstances.
(3) ad hominem (tu quoque): this form of attack on the
person notes that a person does not practise what he

(i) You may argue that God doesn't exist, but you are just
following a fad. (ad hominem abusive)
(ii) We should discount what Premier Klein says about
taxation because he won't be hurt by the increase. (ad
hominem circumstantial)
(iii) We should disregard Share B.C.'s argument because they
are being funded by the logging industry. (ad hominem
(iv) You say I shouldn't drink, but you haven't been sober for
more than a year. (ad hominem tu quoque)

Identify the attack and show that the character or
circumstances of the person has nothing to do with the truth
or falsity of the proposition being defended

you're a goddess
and a truly open
in a world of
people who don't speak their true mind

rock on forever

entrance exams will probably be oral

"entrance exams will probably be oral"

am i reading too much into that or are you suggesting that oral sex is a gay thing?

Where's the evidence for massive, systematic abuse and harassment of homosexual students in New York City schools?

This person has obviously never set foot in a school.. anywhere.

Why is New York City, one of the strongest bastions of liberalism, pluralism, multiculturalism and sexual progressiveness, breeding such hatred toward homosexual young people?

Because there are a whole lot of social conservative Catholics and religious immigrants in the city. It's a bastion of political liberalism, not social liberalism. Hell, the city supported slavery while the rest of the north opposed it. The city made money off of it.

There is no evidence of widespread harassment of homosexual kids in the New York City government schools or anywhere else.

Right... and segregation wasnt so bad, racism doesn't exist, the Muslim world loves Jews, and I'm a 98 year old grandfather of 27.

Further, New York City school administrators have their hands full maintaining discipline and the safety of all students. Why should homosexual students be any different?

Discipline. Right. Cause that's the problem in NYC schools. Of course. It's not the total educational devastation caused by the fiscal crisis, the drug war, the crack epidemic, the crime rate of the decades before the late 90's, the housing crisis, etc. etc. etc. etc. Its not because teachers aren't paid enough for us to have enough teachers that are worth a damn. It's not cause the system was a byzantine mess until Bloomberg took over and abolished the board of ed. It's cause those damn kids dont obey authority... thats all.

What a jackass.



learn, read a few

The "bullet point" questions in the WorldNetDaily article are important questions that need to be answered.

Overall, however, the article reeks of thinly-disguised homophobia.

Now for an ad hominem aside:
Mr. Fatah's moustache is very gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm just saying.

mal, im confused, who are you telling to read and learn a little?

i dont know about everyone else, but i am not very far removed from my being one of those students in the new york city public school system. i went to an "alternative/independent" public school just like this harvey milk school, and i know one other person who is commenting here spent her high school years in stuy high (the same school mentioned in one of those links you gave). so im just curious about how much direct experience of what we are talking about all of us here have.

like i said, im honestly confused (and awaiting clarification till i know which way my reaction goes) about who you think needs to learn more about the subject at hand, or why. i know some of us already live the issues inside and out thought (being nonstraight, emersed in student life, experiencing a ton of antigay violence, hatred, etc) so i just think that should be kept in mind.

of course, if part of your intention was to point out that stuy is a cesspool then i totally agree.

High school was the cruelest time... and one thing I noticed was that though the "regular" outcasts like me (the geeky) or the unattractive or the fat or the very stupid were teased and hounded, most of us weren't actually physically threatened.

Not true of the boys thought to be or known to be gay.

(Of course, this is not true of all high schools, as the high school I ended up at was rather tolerant and didn't have much violence... but we were still a "special" school, a geek or nerd school. Many of us had been outcasts our whole lives, and thus didn't make =that= kind of trouble for each other.)

Still, the purpose of school is =supposed= to firstmost be academic. As much as it would be ideal for the school to adequately discipline the kids to prevent anti-gay bullying, and all bullying for that matter, it's tough to control the kids after school, especially as they're parents aren't around. I wouldn't want =my= kids be the guinea pigs of the NYC schools' attempt to enforce no-gay-bashing, esp. if it could in their deaths or injury (I believe it has been shown that the suicide rate for gay teens is much higher than straight teens.)

make it a private school i'm all for it. make the public pay for it i'm against it.

"Where's the evidence for massive, systematic abuse and harassment of homosexual students in New York City schools?"

Can I humbly suggest that that is a legitimate question, without being written off as an openly bigoted anti-gay hatemonger? For that matter, where's the evidence for massive, systematic abuse and harassment of fat students in NYC schools? What about the massive, systematic abuse of friendless, dateless nerds? All kids get made fun of. Kids get made fun of more if they stand out in any way, whether it's by being obese, having thick glasses, by being homosexual, or by being nearly anything else.

Would my asking "where is the consistency in the thinking that led to this school being created?" make me a close-minded gay basher? Apparently, to some, it would.

Would anyone think that that guy's article was any less "homophobic" if he had put more emphasis on "Fine then, when can we expect our all-fat schools, all-nerd schools, etc.?"

Defending the idea of this school on the grounds that it might prevent suicides or lessen the harassment these students might otherwise have to endure is one thing, but... that's all it is. One thing. How about the numberous reasons that have been outlined here and elsewhere that point rather strongly towards this school being a poor, poor, poor patchup of an idea?

Oh, jeez. "Numberous," I sez...

I have to agree with Geoff. I mean, is there a school for fat kids? How about for black kids? Or goth kids? Or geeks?

Having been on the receiving end of some severe bullying myself, I sympathize with Rossi and with students who are bullied enough to want to switch schools. But I'm not sure that this is an effective solution. Removing the children from the school doesn't do much to help gay teens to learn to cope with a lack of acceptance, and it doesn't do much to turn the bullies into civilized human beings.

It's not as though gay teens are going to graduate from school into a world magically full of people who accept homosexuality. There are homophobes in every walk of life, and there likely will be for a long, long time. Running away from it only postpones the inevitable.

Similarly, bullies have to learn that there will always be people who are different from them, and some of them might be their bosses or their family members, or the family members of their friends, etc. I think removing the objects of their bullying just lowers the standard they are held to, when we should be demanding better behavior instead.

I think this idea just smacks of throwing up our hands and giving up on teaching teenagers how to be caring, responsible adults with a sense of self that is less easily threatened. I realize that it's the harder path- harder to implement, harder for the teens involved, harder to accomplish when schools are already asked to do so much. But the fact that it's hard doesn't mean the result isn't better.

geoff, the treatment of gay students or even students who arent get but suspected of being so goes way beyond the general mistreatment and teasing of other students. its on par with european antisemitism (but thankfully not muslim antisemitism which has gone way beyond even that). for evidence, i would have to take you into the schools, as a student, to see day by day just what is going on, i would have to take you to the parties, the after school fights (i remember when my school moved to a new building, kid was in the hospital with a collapsed lung from a fight just cause we were a new school moving into the area with a bunch of other schools already there -- its the same for gay students..... just constant, ubiquitous, even more vicious, driven by real hatred and fear, and with almost a stalking obsession). i dont know you, so i cant do that, i can only share my first hand experience.

meep, since when are we not guinea pigs? might as well make it count for something.

Ditto on Balagan's comments..

And Mr. Simion was, indeed, quite good compared to certain others. He was my geometry teacher.

Also... Stuyvesant has much dirtier secrets. There's this one closet on the 4th floor...

yes tiff, there are schools for black kids and geeks. there has been all but armed combat over the creation of girls schools and boys schools. nyc schools are incredibly segregated.... and it is a bad thing. specialized schools with gifted programs and entrance exams are fine. semi-independent and charter schools with an underlying academic theme are good too. but seperating out black kids so they can "achieve outside of a hostile victimizing environment" is just as bad as seperating out gay kids. the substance of being black and being gay may be very different but the segregation and the giving in to victimhood are the same and are bad things. i dont think being gay, black, jewish, southasian, etc are the same as being fat or geeky or gothy. yes kids pick on each other... but there are some things that go beyond pushing buttons and teasing.


While your description of the abuse of gay students can likely be shown to be the truth, when you go into "i would have to take you to the parties, the after school fights," and such, you're going into a whole other, much broader, much larger issue, that is, intolerance.

I'll phrase my thoughts this way:

Intolerance in schools is a problem. How do we fix this problem?

If the answer is "by encouraging those who are not being tolerated to attend a separate school in which they would not be abused for the reason that everyone else in the school shares the same characteristic that was what made bullies target them in their previous schools..." then I have to just say that we're moving very quickly in a straight line away from the idea of promoting tolerance.

Also: Who says nerds don't get beaten up? Fat kids, maybe not, maybe they're better at defending themselves, but... to have the entire case for an all-gay public school rest on the idea that gay kids receive more physically damaging punishment from their bullies than nerds (or any other picked-on group) is a huge excercise in subjectivity, and therefore a lot harder to rationally put forth.

geoff, i am saying two distinct things.

first, i agree that the creation of schools for victims of hostility takes us way from fighting the sources of that victimization. i have said over and over again that i think this school, as it is right now, is a bad idea. i have said that i think it is harmful for gay students to be segregated like this. that it is wrong to give those who are antigay the excuse of being able to say "if you dont like how you are treated, go to harvey milk"... with a few slurs thrown in for good measure.

however, the second thing ive been saying is that the everyday reality of what its like to be gay in the hostility of american schools and american life (not that the rest of the world is any better - this is just the life most of us know best) goes beyond just getting beaten up occasionally. michele was right when she mentioned a corolation to columbine (at least i think that was her - im getting pretty tired and its hard to remember right now). but imagine what it would be like if a huge portion of the country supported the idea that smart outcast students were unnatural and abominations unto god, not just when they go ballistic on their tormentors... but all the time. simply when they get good grades. simply for being alive,

that is what it has been like at other times to be jewish or black. that is what it is like to be a young gay person in america today.

Geoff, I think that you are misunderstanding Balagan's position. I think he is pretty clearly arguing against this separate school. It may not come across so clearly here, but it does in his comments to Michele's original post here and also in my blog here. He indicates his position in the comments here with this statement:

yes tiff, there are schools for black kids and geeks. there has been all but armed combat over the creation of girls schools and boys schools. nyc schools are incredibly segregated.... and it is a bad thing [...] but seperating out black kids so they can "achieve outside of a hostile victimizing environment" is just as bad as seperating out gay kids.

What Balagan objects to is not opposition to segregated schools, but the rationale being put forth by social conservatives that the discrimination against gays in public schools is no worse than casual adolescent teasing and the usual occasional fight, which is patently ridiculous. Yes, all kids get picked on, but there is a substantial difference between a kid getting picked on for having a dorky haircut, and a kid being demonized for being black, or Jewish, or Middle Eastern, or gay.

I apologize for making it seem as though most of my last comment was directed solely at you, Balagan. Most of it came out as a general tirade against this idea. Regardless, I now understand fully that your main point is that the treatment that gay students receive in public schools is not comparable to the treatment that fat/nerdy/smelly/acne-ridden students receive.

So, to that I'll say "sure, ok, so that is the case."

Now assuming, as we both are (for the sake of this discussion at very least), that gay students receive harsher bullying than other picked-on students, how does that make the "social conservatives" comparisons less relevant, since it's still only by a matter of subjective degree? In other words, it's not as if anyone involved is putting forth tables of data that clearly show the degree of difference between torment of gay vs. other picked-on students, nor is anyone trying to use any such data to support the idea of the gay high school. Nothing crucial to the fate of this school is riding on anyone else accepting the fact that gays are picked on more harshly. That's what I'm not clear on...

Truly, I can readily understand the impulse for this high school. But as long as we are talking publically funded schools, then a "separate" school based on inherent individual characteristics rather than, say, a talent is wrong; legally and morally.

Private school? Knock the socks off.

As a long time in the trenches parent of schools both private and public I'll give my two cents worth on where the problem starts...the SIZE of the school. How much individual attention can be granted when a student is one of 2000 kids? 5000 kids? You get schools down to the 300-500 range and a teacher/aide/administrator would have to be braindead or evil not to know immediately who the bullies are and do something about it.

(after a few more minutes thought)

...or are we no longer even discussing the merits of the school, and instead discussing the fact that people are comparing "separate school for gays" to "separate school for any picked-on kids?" Because if we are, then I agree with you: In general, gay kids are treated comparitively worse by their peers than other picked-on kids.


there is a substantial difference between a kid getting picked on for having a dorky haircut, and a kid being demonized for being black, or Jewish, or Middle Eastern, or gay.

Put like that, you're correct. However, how about the kid with the dorky haircut being demonized? Or the gay kid being picked on?

Why do some of these discussions devolve into who bleeds more?

For the geeky kid who gets his/her lunch money extorted, a wedgie every morning, and under the breath cracks of "pissant brainiac", their terror and humilitation is no different from the kid experiencing the same except the cracks would include "faggot."

This again should not be about who's bullying is worse..it should be about the bullying PERIOD.

I agree with Darleen, it should be about bullying. If anyone should be in a special school it is the anti-social types who cause the trouble and the teachers should be empowered to deal with them.
I am sorry to here about Stuy. because when my sister went there if was a really great place to learn (that was back in the old building). The fact that the school is letting people in there to teach that are not qualified and can not challenge those kids is a systemic problem that transends the salaries that the teachers get paid. Until the unions stranglehold on the system is broken you can pour all the money in the world in and you will just be pissing it away.

Who are the bullies going to turn to next when their familiar targets are in separate schools? I know I was really lucky for only being picked on for having braces forever and not wearing Benetton. Think of the possibilities of what could render a kid "other." They're endless.

On a more serious note, I think we should be making a distinction here between being picked on and serious bullying -- especially physical abuse. Everyone has to deal with the first -- it's part of growing up. NO ONE should have to deal with the second.

thank you for the Rossi introduction. i'm instantly smitten. shh don't tell. k?

I posted a huge comment on Rossi's site, so, in lieu of not wanting to type it all over again, I'll just paste it:

I'm new to your site. I followed the link through Michele's site. reading what you wrote hit home to me in so many ways. I was always the fat kid in school myself, as well as the gay kid, but I never let on about that one. I was picked on mercilessly throughout school. It ended up that I dropped out of highschool in the 10th grade because of it, although I DID get my GED, which i am glad for.

What you said about things like this turning kids to commit suicide and/or turning them to doing things like the Columbine kids did, is perfectly true. It was never Marilyn Manson or horror movies that turned those kids into killers. What did it was being picked on so mercilessly through school that that's the only way they saw to end it, though when they realized the magnitude of it they killed themselves.
I am not saying what those kids did was right, but I understand the mindset they must have been in. I never hurt anyone in my life, but there were days I fantasized about my tormentors dying in various creative ways. I am surprised I myself didn't commit suicide back then.
Highschool is supposed to be the best years of your life, that's what people say. Highschool was pure and utter hell for me, and I can't imagine ever wanting to go back for a class reunion.

I think there should be schools for kids who are outcast socially in their schools, whether they be gay, fat, nerdy, whatever. Yes, it is a sort of segregation, but at least the kids can go to school and get an education without having to worry about being hurt, humiliated, a number of other things that the popular kids are so adept at doing to the unpopular ones. And, maybe the social outcasts, like I was, can count Highschool as the best years of their lives. I would be all for that, and I would even teach in one of those schools. Being a gay man myself, I know what it was like feeling like you don't belong anywhere, and I think these kids deserve to feel that they belong.

Actually, I don't think that there should be a separate GAY school, but a school for ALL SOCIAL OUTCASTS. And, eventually, we can slowly get the social outcasts back into the mainstream. I know that separate schools sounds extreme, but, when i was in highschool, I would have LOVED to have gone to a school where I wasn't considered shit thankyou very much.