Jump to content


Getting an "Insecure Connection" warning for Exisle? No worry

Details in this thread

New York opens 1st public school for gay students

LGBT Education

  • Please log in to reply
114 replies to this topic

#101 Drew

Drew

    Josef K.

  • Islander
  • 12,191 posts

Posted 31 July 2003 - 05:49 AM

Julie, on Jul 30 2003, 12:53 PM, said:

I'm actually a little surprised that gay rights activists consider this a victory. 

If I were one of them trying to stop the abuse of gay kids in schools, my advice to those kids would be not to boil their identity down to the one aspect that makes them different.  The people who hate gays do this already, and sending homosexuals to a 'gay school' is only reinforcing that.  When you can turn someone into one characteristic, be it gay or black or nerdy or stupid, you're making it easier for others to hate them, because they're hating one characteristic, not a person.

There's more to people than their sexuality, especially at that age when they're still defining who they are.  Seperating them based on their sexuality, instead of showing them how to intergrate themselves with the rest of society, will do more long-term harm than good.
Well said, Julie. I have to admit that this has always been a problem I've found with the in-your-face segment of militant advocacy groups. They stress their sexuality to an extreme and then act outraged when homosexuals are characterized as being sex-obsessed. Well, duh. What did they expect?
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#102 MuseZack

MuseZack

    132nd S.O.C.

  • Demigod
  • 5,432 posts

Posted 31 July 2003 - 10:45 AM

Julie, on Jul 30 2003, 05:53 PM, said:

I'm actually a little surprised that gay rights activists consider this a victory. 

If I were one of them trying to stop the abuse of gay kids in schools, my advice to those kids would be not to boil their identity down to the one aspect that makes them different.  The people who hate gays do this already, and sending homosexuals to a 'gay school' is only reinforcing that.  When you can turn someone into one characteristic, be it gay or black or nerdy or stupid, you're making it easier for others to hate them, because they're hating one characteristic, not a person.

There's more to people than their sexuality, especially at that age when they're still defining who they are.  Seperating them based on their sexuality, instead of showing them how to intergrate themselves with the rest of society, will do more long-term harm than good.
Julie, from my admittedly anecdotal observations, the problem with gay high school kids isn't teaching them how to integrate themselves into society, whatever that means.  It's teaching their classmates not to physically harm them and otherwise make their lives hell for being different.  

And I'm a little irritated at how easily a lot of people here seem to dismiss the level of viciousness that's directed at gay kids in many schools.    And in all too many cases, the schools are actively complicit in this:  http://www.sfgate.co...1306EDT0586.DTL


So while the New York solution may have been the wrong one, it was a response to a very real and pressing societal problem.

Zack
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#103 Bad Wolf

Bad Wolf

    Luck is when opportunity meets preparation

  • Islander
  • 38,881 posts

Posted 31 July 2003 - 10:56 AM

Quote

So while the New York solution may have been the wrong one, it was a response to a very real and pressing societal problem.

Indeed.  Speaking for myself, I hope I haven't come off as dismissive to the problem of gay bashing in schools, because that was not at all my intent.
Posted Image

#104 Julie

Julie
  • Islander
  • 777 posts

Posted 31 July 2003 - 11:17 AM

MuseZack, on Jul 30 2003, 07:35 PM, said:

Julie, from my admittedly anecdotal observations, the problem with gay high school kids isn't teaching them how to integrate themselves into society, whatever that means.  It's teaching their classmates not to physically harm them and otherwise make their lives hell for being different. 
I never said that the problem is with the gay students.  There are some weird kids out there who feel the need to make the lives of others miserable, and I'm not disputing or excusing that.  Those kids need to be dealt with.

But in the meantime, there are different ways of dealing with that kind of abuse.  One way is allowing them to see that their victims are humans not all that different from themselves.  Another way is to send the victims to a different school so the other students never interact with them.  Which do you think will be more helpful in the long run?

Furthermore, I just have a problem with defining teenagers based on their sexuality, which is essentially what attending this school does.  

While the intention of the school is protection, what it amounts to is slapping the gay label on homosexuals and shipping them out of sight.  That isn't going to help the self-image of the student or the bullying of other kids.

#105 sierraleone

sierraleone

    All things Great and Mischievous

  • Islander
  • 9,215 posts

Posted 01 August 2003 - 01:24 AM

I didn't mean to come off at slighting gay issues, sorry if I did. And what Zack said. Its just another way to ignorn bullying. What about kids that aren't gay, but are effeminate, or "butch" (there isn't a word opposite for effeminate?? *shrugs* ) or somehow precieve as gay and are bullied when they aren't. Will they be told they should go to this school by counsellors and others, despite how many times they say they aren't gay, or will they go, just to get away from the bullying, will they start questioning their sexuality just because they are bullied when its not true?, and suddenly counsellors are telling them about this "wonderful school for people like you". They might be afraid of further false labelling, but might feel they have to go just to get away from the bullying, or start to think, maybe there is a grain of truth to what everyone is saying....
Frankly, its makes me a little sick. Though, admitedly I'm painting this all with my own paint brush.

I still don't see how its a "choice" for bullied kids though. They are legally required to attend school untill a certain age, and have limited opportunties in life if they don't attend. They could simply go to another school, but not guarentee its better. Heck, in that position, I'd probably consider going to that school, but not because I wanted to. I'd rather they deal with the root problems and causes instead of herding them off into another school.
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#106 QueenTiye

QueenTiye

    Behavior is not reproducible over multiple trials.

  • Islander
  • 24,300 posts

Posted 01 August 2003 - 01:40 AM

Chiming in - since I think my comments could be interpretted as being dismissive of the problem.

I am not insensitive to the problem - I simply don't see it as MORE of a problem than some of the other problems facing students in the New York City school system - so much more of a problem that a quick fix can be created to address it  - one which discriminates against kids who may also have similar problems but don't have the "priviledge" of being gay.

Editing to add: Thanks for the link!

QT

Edited by QueenTiye, 01 August 2003 - 01:47 AM.

Een Draght Mackt Maght


#107 Delvo

Delvo
  • Islander
  • 9,273 posts

Posted 01 August 2003 - 02:09 AM

A school representative said on TV last night that heterosexual kids will be allowed to attend if they want.

#108 QueenTiye

QueenTiye

    Behavior is not reproducible over multiple trials.

  • Islander
  • 24,300 posts

Posted 01 August 2003 - 02:12 AM

WELL!! :)

I have no more objections then.  I still think other kids are being grossly neglected, but the discriminatory aspect of this have just been washed away.

QT

Een Draght Mackt Maght


#109 Cardie

Cardie

    I'm a very *good* tailor

  • Administrator
  • 22,632 posts

Posted 01 August 2003 - 02:59 AM

Maybe I was right after all, and it's the Gay Studies magnet school.  :)

Cardie
Nothing succeeds like excess.

#110 Drew

Drew

    Josef K.

  • Islander
  • 12,191 posts

Posted 01 August 2003 - 05:17 AM

QueenTiye, on Jul 31 2003, 10:02 AM, said:

WELL!! :)

I have no more objections then.  I still think other kids are being grossly neglected, but the discriminatory aspect of this have just been washed away.
I think we still have the public-funding issue, though, don't we? But then, I suppose that depends on whether parents must pay tuition to send their children here. If this is merely another public school open to anyone, and free, how does a student switch to this school? (I grew up in a one-school town--I have no clue how this works in larger districts.)
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#111 QueenTiye

QueenTiye

    Behavior is not reproducible over multiple trials.

  • Islander
  • 24,300 posts

Posted 01 August 2003 - 05:31 AM

Drew, on Jul 31 2003, 02:07 PM, said:

I think we still have the public-funding issue, though, don't we? But then, I suppose that depends on whether parents must pay tuition to send their children here. If this is merely another public school open to anyone, and free, how does a student switch to this school? (I grew up in a one-school town--I have no clue how this works in larger districts.)
In NYC there are lots of specialized high schools.  In Junior High School, students get a BOOK of high schools to which they may apply.  If they do nothing at all, they will be sent to their zoned high school - which is the high school considered geographically closest to them.  But they may apply for any other school in the city.  Some schools have additional admissions policies - the 6* academic specialized high schools require a test, there are portfolios and auditions for music and arts schools, for Midwood Medical Science program there is an interview.  Schools are required (I think except specialized schools) to leave a certain number of admissions for zoned kids, but then may pick and choose from amongst students meeting their standards which are advertised in the book.  So, there are such schools as Automotive High School, Murray Bertram (business and accting focus), The Museum School (providing education using the resources of the cities numerous Museums), etc.  BTW - I just learned that there is a GIRL'S school - so much for non-descrimination! Although - I think that it's a good idea, and there should be a BOY'S school as well.

(Of course - this was how it was done YEARS AGO when I was going to High School.  Here's a link if anyone is interested: http://www.nycenet.e...ontent_page.asp)

Anyway - if the school is focusing on Gay & Lesbian studies, then it is just another school with a particular focus, that any student can attend - but which is likely to attract a specific target demographic.

QT

*There used to be only 3, but now there are 6 schools that require the test - 2 in Manhattan, 2 in the Bronx, and one each in Brooklyn and Queens.  

Edited by QueenTiye, 01 August 2003 - 05:52 AM.

Een Draght Mackt Maght


#112 the 'Hawk

the 'Hawk
  • Islander
  • 5,281 posts

Posted 01 August 2003 - 06:06 AM

I decided to reconsider my previous "this is segregation and down with segregation" position in light of the following....

You see, I realize that geeks and jocks and preps and so on-- that they all are maligned, to some extent, by those who are not 'like' them.

However, and I hate to invoke this, it comes to my attention that no one specifically tells them they can't be whatever they are. Nobody ever came up to me and told me I'd go to hell for liking Star Trek. (Though I have been known to refer to Voyager as hell.) There's never been protests against allowing people to play football. Granted, there have been protests against *not* allowing *certain* people on the football team (go feminism!) even if the reason for the protest was simply to draw attention to inequality.

By the same token, however, sexual orientation is far less clearly defined than ethnic or racial or other stereotypes. I doubt anyone has ever suddenly come to the life-altering realization that they're white or black, or Italian or French or Spanish, or whatever-- the thing speaks for itself.

Gay isn't the same thing. It's both misunderstood and persecuted. Perhaps rightly so, perhaps wrongly so, based on whatever you think. But that's both the problem, and the reality. There are those who have no sympathy for those of "deviant" sexuality because they perceive it as standing contrary to their moral code. There's nothing wrong with that.

But where it crosses the line with me is when that moral code becomes a cause of action-- when what one believes brings one to decide on a course of action that is malicious to another. I'm certain that jocks and nerds, blacks and whites, whoever, divide along their chosen lines and fight against each other. Dichotomy does not lend well to diversity.

It's an unfortunate fact of our society that sometimes the only way to mark a trail to be blazed is with blood. The same sacrifices that lend themselves to our modern society's considerable liberality and freedom to do as one will came at a heavy cost. History tells us that everything we do, every day, had to be fought for in order to be accepted. Perhaps at some point blood was shed to give us a twenty-four hour day, a seven-day week. Perhaps it wasn't. It's become so ingrained in our world that we don't question it.

Without conflict, there cannot be growth. While I admittedly can say this in the fullness of objectivity since my conflicts are usually only against myself, I honestly have to admit that, even setting segregation aside, creating a space that's *more* gay-friendly than every other public school in New York City draws the same false dichotomies that lend themselves to tragic ends. If anything, I would infinitely prefer it if *all* public schools, everywhere, were founded on the basic tenet of tolerance and self-expression in all forms. That, admittedly, flies in the face of the basic conformity to the teacher's authority prerequisite to learning. And thus it's an ideal. But it's something to be aspired towards-- because without individual comfort in an academic setting, creativity is stifled, and learning dies.

I can understand the need to take sexual orientation off the table as an "issue" in the name of that same learning, to offer shelter in the classroom from the tempest outside. It would disturb me to no end if I was unable to teach a lesson on the basis that a student took issue with my admittedly relativist way of viewing things.

But at the same time, I have to balance the interests of the student who is being tormented for being gay against those of the students who exhibit clear anti-gay principles, for whatever reason, religious or secular alike. Both of them need to accept that unless it's on the agenda for the day, they can leave their prejudices in their lockers. There's no room for them in the classroom.

Inherent in any education is the imperative of assessment. Students have to assess the right answer to the question, have to assess the text they read for facts, and assimilate them. Teachers in turn have to assess assignments, essays, homework, and other work, and grade them. Students also have to assess their classmates, their friends, their enemies, and react to them. Each of these is in and of itself a conflict-- perhaps a more mental conflict than persecution, but a conflict nonetheless. Each new scenario must be assessed on the basis of social, academic, and other factors --each factor weighted by the individual.

And so we must assess the merit of this school towards its intended end. To me, it seems an admission of failure to inculcate diversity and bring about an inclusive, tolerant school environment.

While I may have opposed it on the previous principle of segregation, I find after this lengthy reconsideration that I still oppose it-- on the grounds that one gay-friendly school in the city is not enough. These kids will spend enough of their lives locked in conflict over the issue of their sexuality. The least that can be done is giving them an academic space that exists separately from that. So often I hear that "school isn't like the real world" as a criticism of school. Perhaps, contrariwise, that's one of its great untapped strengths, especially along lines such as the ones I've outlined here.

As always, just my bit.  

:cool:
“Now is the hour, Riders of Rohan, oaths you have taken! Now, fulfil them all! To lord and land!”  
~ Eomer, LotR:RotK

#113 Drew

Drew

    Josef K.

  • Islander
  • 12,191 posts

Posted 01 August 2003 - 06:34 AM

Quote

But at the same time, I have to balance the interests of the student who is being tormented for being gay against those of the students who exhibit clear anti-gay principles, for whatever reason, religious or secular alike. Both of them need to accept that unless it's on the agenda for the day, they can leave their prejudices in their lockers. There's no room for them in the classroom.

Given this, can one not also argue that "unless it's on the agenda for the day," any statements regarding the morality of homosexuality should also be "left in the locker?" Yet the school has already made their own prejudice the rule. Is it fair for them to silence any opposition?

Or is the better solution for public schools to completely steer clear of the issue lest they muddy it up by arbitrarily throwing support to whatever banner is waving in the wind that day?

EDIT: I may have mistaken who you're referring to when you use the term "both" in the portion quoted above. Perhaps I'm merely repeating what you're saying.

Edited by Drew, 01 August 2003 - 06:35 AM.

"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#114 the 'Hawk

the 'Hawk
  • Islander
  • 5,281 posts

Posted 01 August 2003 - 06:59 AM

Drew, on Jul 31 2003, 03:24 PM, said:

I may have mistaken who you're referring to when you use the term "both" in the portion quoted above. Perhaps I'm merely repeating what you're saying.
Actually, you're clarifying, not repeating it. Thanks. ;)

:cool:
“Now is the hour, Riders of Rohan, oaths you have taken! Now, fulfil them all! To lord and land!”  
~ Eomer, LotR:RotK

#115 FlatlandDan

FlatlandDan

    Sophisticate

  • Islander
  • 8,824 posts

Posted 02 August 2003 - 04:11 PM

How would one go about getting into this school?  What happens if a straight student wanted to attend?  How can one define gay?  It's not something that is a physical difference...  

-Dan

:ninja:
My candle burns at both its ends;
It will not last the night;
But oh, my foes, and oh, my friends --
It gives a lovely light."
-Edna St. Vincent Millay



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: LGBT, Education

0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users