Monday, December 22, 2008

Milwaukee Approves World’s 1st Gay-Safe Middle School

The first safe haven for GLBT middle schoolers is set to open in Milwaukee.

A Dec. 17 article posted at the Web site of U.S. News and World Report said that the new school was approved by the Milwaukee Board of Education, and follows the establishment, four years ago, of the Alliance School, a Milwaukee high school that, like New York City’s Harvey Milk School, is intended as a safe educational environment for GLBT students.

Like the Harvey Milk and Alliance high schools, the new middle school will also be open to straight students.

The article said that approval for the new, GLBT-safe middle school was unanimous, albeit via procedure rather than by vote: the issue was not advanced to a vote or tabled for further study, and so passed.

The school is expected to open next year; applicants are able to sign up right away.

The move follows the failure, last fall, of a similar proposal for GLBT high school students in Chicago. That plan, the article said, did not even make it to the school board, due to community opposition to a gay-safe school. (The Outskirts)

Check out the Alliance School - LGBTQ friendly highschool and soon to be middle school.

5 comments:

Erik Granlund said...

I think things like this are totally opposite of what we are trying to achieve.

Why not make it so the current schools are more gay friendly, rather than opening a new school.

By segregating ourselves we just divide the lines between gay and straight even further.

Also, what about the effect a separate school will have on closeted gays in the other high school. If all the gays jump ship to the new one, even passive support of having a gay classmate or something like that will be gone.

H Mateo said...

Erik,

I don't exactly intend to contradict your point. But I would like to express my personal experience in a similar situation. When I was a gay teenager living in the Bronx, I found a program called the Harvey Milk Institute for the Protection of Lesbian and Gay Youth, which ran a gay high school and provided counseling and a safe heaven for young gay people. Most of the kids that attended the high school had spent their whole lives being teased or abused in the "regular" schools in marginalized neighborhoods. In addition to homophobia, these kids often faced racial discrimination and economic limitations that led to their dropping out of school. Going to a "regular" and all inclusive school was simply not on the horizon. Their safety and general well-being was at risk. So, although I think we should make it our business that ALL schools are safe and gay friendly, I remember this wasn't an option to most of the kids that ended up going to to the Harvey Milk Institute.

Jim said...

LGBT friendly schools can be important places to develop best practices that can be rolled out into the broader school system. Yes, "regular" schools should be safe places for ALL students, LGBT's and assorted "geeks" included. But far too many are not.

Laurie said...

I wish that y'all could see how the
school where I work is....The kids are
pretty much accepting of the GLBT students
and don't have a problem with them....
Also the GLBT students know that they have
me to turn to....

HUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Merlyn said...

it's about time!!

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