The CPS Office of New Schools has already gone through the process of interviewing a design team made up of veteran teachers, administrators, a member of the About Face Theater, and dozens of others involved in this projected. The delegated principle, Chad Weiden of the proposing school, was interviewed this passed August.
Currently, the design team is scouting a location. They are hoping to build the school in a centralized location to make it easier for students to reach.
The proposing team believes that it is a necessary option for the LGBTIQ youths in the school system and their allies given the often hostile atmosphere that permeates the current school environment. They do not, however, feel that it should be the only option, and certainly desire to put an end to prejudice inside the schools. However, two years ago, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) found that roughly thirty-five percent of all Illinois students reported that sexual and gender identity was a common reason students were harassed and bullied. Over three-quarters of the students replied that they had heard homophobic comments made by their class mates.
Many LGBTIQ students in the area have reported that the toxic attitudes from others at school often caused them to miss school, drop out, and even contemplate suicide. Too many of the students reported far more violence against their person or belongings in far greater numbers than did heterosexual students in their classes.
The benefits of creating such a school, the second in the country after New York’s Harvey Milk High School, would be the creation of a positive, hate free environment where students can learn among those who will neither judge them nor bully them. There are concerns about a growing ghettoization among the LGBTIQ community. By not interacting with their fellows, it is reasoned, others cannot learn to accept the sexual and gender identity differences in others, and that it could become a form of segregation. A large number of people in the LGBTIQ community have mixed feelings concerning the creation of schools like the Pride Campus or Harvey Milk HS.
On this subject, we would like to hear your comments regarding the creation of this and other schools directed towards the LGBTIQ community.
One Note, the original article refered to the LGBTQA or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, questioning, and allied community.
Original article: Edge on the net