View Full Version : Gay school - all gay NYC high school

July 29th, 2003, 08:35 PM
New York Post


July 29, 2003 -- The principals union said yesterday that a new high school for gay students "should be open to any student" - not just to those who are homosexual, bisexual or transgender.

The union staked out its position as Mayor Bloomberg hailed the first-in-the-nation Harvey Milk HS - disclosed in yesterday's Post - which will open this September with 100 students at 2 Astor Place in the East Village.

"I think everybody feels that it's a good idea because some of the kids who are gays and lesbians have been constantly harassed and beaten in other schools," he said. "It lets them get an education without having to worry."

But Jill Levy, president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, which represents principals and other administrative staff, said the school should not be exclusively for gay students. While saying the union "understands the need for this high school," Levy added, "Ultimately, the school should be open to any student wishing to participate in its educational environment."

Union spokesman Richard Relkin questioned how a student gets approved to attend Harvey Milk.

"Do you have to get a note from your doctor that you are gay to go to this school? We don't know that," Relkin said.

The city Department of Education said only that student applications will be judged on their interest in attending and guidance counselor referrals.

News of the school drew mixed reactions among the public.

"I think it's an excellent idea. They should have an environment where they can learn and grow and not have to worry about being tormented," said Erin Monaghan, 21, a student from Hudson County, N.J.

But Andrew Barthen, 35, a sheet-metal worker from Westchester, said: "There's enough segregation in society as it is. What are they going to have next black and white school? It's ridiculous."

Mike hails gay HS as a shelter from bullies
Tuesday, July 29th, 2003
Mayor Bloomberg is defending a plan to open the city's first entire high school for gay students, touting it yesterday as a haven from bullies.

The Harvey Milk High School is scheduled to open in the fall at 2 Astor Place in the East Village with an initial enrollment of about 100 students after a $3.2 million renovation.

"I think everybody feels that it's a good idea because some of the kids who are gays and lesbians have been constantly harassed and beaten in other schools," Bloomberg said. "And this way, it sort of solves that problem. It lets them get an education without having to worry."

The school, named after the gay San Francisco city supervisor who was assassinated in 1978, will eventually grow to 170 students. It began operating as a two-room program in 1984.

The school has already garnered critics, including state Conservative Party chairman Mike Long, who chastised the city for treating gay students differently from others and spending the millions to renovate the building during "tough economic times."

"It's wrong to use taxpayer money exclusively for the gay community," Long said. "You can't segregate kids and put them in their own environment. This is a big mistake."

The money to build the school was approved by the old Board of Education in June 2002.

Bloomberg scoffed at the critics.

"From a pedagogical point of view, this administration - and previous administrations - have thought it was a good idea and we'll continue with that," he said.

* This surely will be quite instructive.*

The school will specialize in art and culinary programs, and computer technology. It also will follow Schools Chancellor Joel Klein's new mandatory English and math programs.

With Tamer El-Ghobashy

* * * * *

Will one be expelled if found engaging in straight behavior?

What will be taught in the sex-ed classes?

Will group showering after PE be encouraged or discouraged?

Will military recruiters go to this high school?

Will straight teachers be discriminated against?

Doesn't this discriminate against closeted gay and lesbian high schoolers?

Is this only for the provocative flamboyants and militants who are clear targets of violence?

Why don't they make a separate school for the gay basher high school students instead?

What message does the creation of this school send to the basher students?
-Beat them up and the city will remove them from your school.
-Tolerance is not something to be taught and learned in high school.
-Gays and lesbians should be exiled.

This IMO seems extremely misguided.

TLOZ Link5
July 29th, 2003, 09:42 PM
Normally I'd be the first one to stand up for gay rights, but this is a bad idea. *At least in a mainstream school a gay student can be discreet about his/her sexuality and avoid harassment, but in a case like this the gay-bashers would know exactly where to go to find a target.

Freedom Tower
July 29th, 2003, 10:19 PM
Well not only that, but this is discrimination against people who aren't gay. Remember a long time ago when schools were segregated between black and white? Now are they going to be segregated between gays and straights? It's a horrible idea. So now gays can choose to go to their own school that non-gays are not allowed to go to? Taxpayers shouldn't be forced to pay for any school that doesn't allow straight people in. If it was a private school then they can do as they wish. But public schools should not have a gay-only policy. It's ridiculous.

Freedom Tower
July 29th, 2003, 10:23 PM
Also, I forgot to mention, gays arent the only people harassed in schools, you have the nerds, geeks, etc. So now they'll need gay only schools, nerd only schools, and geek only schools. It's just ridiculous. Private schools are where you go if you don't like the public schools. Public schools are meant to be just that --- PUBLIC. Besides even if we all agreed with gay schools how would they check to see who's gay? Any kid can lie to get into the school right?

July 29th, 2003, 10:39 PM
GLAD is a much more powerful lobbying group than NAGATT (nerds and geeks against tittie twisters.) *;)

Freedom Tower
July 29th, 2003, 11:00 PM
Haha, Jasonik, you are a comedian. :biggrin:

July 29th, 2003, 11:12 PM
With TLOZ. I understand where the city is coming from, but this isn't a religion specialized school or anything like that - segregating lifestyles is a bad idea.

July 29th, 2003, 11:28 PM
For instance if there were a rash of anti-semitism and jews were being assaulted, would they be given their own 'safe' school?

If they get away with this what's to stop hooligans from chasing off and in effect violently segregating groups of all stripes? That is if the city comes to the rescue of these other persecuted groups with the same priority they give the gay/lesbian/transgender community.

This could be a bad precedent.

July 29th, 2003, 11:30 PM
Oh geez. This article is so tempting and just itchin' for a specific response, I will venture not to... lest I offend folk here and elswhere.

Goooood night.

July 29th, 2003, 11:46 PM
why bother?

July 30th, 2003, 12:08 AM
New York Post Editorial

Tue Jul 29, 3:59 AM ET


MY LATE uncle Huey Dougherty was as gay as a New Year's Eve party. He was the toast of postwar Europe with the blockbuster play he wrote, "Seagulls Over Sorrento."

He was just a tad short of a genius - as is my cousin, Nick, who is as tough as an old rock but jokes that he was born with a broken wrist. Certainly gay - and someone I revere.

I was handed one of the most complete barroom brawl beatings in my life by the son of one of Australia's most prominent judges. Gay, but a close friend of mine to this day.

OK, have I established that there is not a tissue in me that is anti-gay? Good.

Now, the debate which will rage for ages on all points of the compass:

A gay high school, disclosed in yesterday's Post.

Are we for real?

Jerry Russo, spokesman for Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, told me yesterday:

"We are complying with state regulations governing alternate programs for students that has existed for years."

A special school for gay kids? Who knows whether a kid at the age of 13 is gay? Is it sociological? Is it genetic?

"Counseling services are being provided and are available for those children," Russo said.

So I see it clearly now. A kid is 13, goes to a gay high school and a counselor has to grill the poor little kid, asking him: "Are you gay? Do you think you are gay? Have you had a homosexual experience?"

C'mon, let's get real.

I have no problem - and neither does about 90 percent of this population - with a person being gay.

But you in that crippled Department of Education (news - web sites) - together with Mayor Mike - are institutionalizing a way of life which has been roundly condemned by the Bible, the Koran and the Buddhist scriptures.

If, as the mayor says, this saves the kids from harassment at school, he has virtually erected a target for misinformed nutcase hoodlums who want to exercise their beer muscles.

Idiotic, socially wrong, morally wrong and politically suicidal.

TLOZ Link5
July 30th, 2003, 09:41 AM
I agree. *Segregation is morally wrong on all accounts. *There's no difference between this situation and the "separate but equal" treatment that blacks endured in the South--although such dogma was practiced unofficially in the North as well.

Freedom Tower
July 30th, 2003, 04:14 PM
I was reading a survey online and something like 91% of the people voting disagreed with this idea. Even gay-rights people don't like this idea because it's just so extreme. Sending them to a completely different school is madness. If they are being harassed then the schools should be able to stop it, not ship them out somewhere else. In the future, if they are harassed they will want gay-only bathrooms, and gay-only everything else. This is an awful idea and a step in the wrong direction. Is this unstoppable now? Where are the NIMBYs when you need them? ;)

August 2nd, 2003, 10:19 AM
August 2, 2003

Don't Segregate Gay Students


As a young gay man only a few years out of high school, I see the appeal of the Harvey Milk High School, a public school in New York City for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students that will be expanded this fall. But it is the easy way out an exercise in wishful thinking that will do little to foster tolerance.

I know that public high schools can be unfriendly and scary, especially if you are homosexual. But the purpose of high school is not just earning a diploma, but also learning how to interact with people who may be different from you. There's no way an isolated, segregated environment will teach homosexual and heterosexual students to coexist and respect each other.

After years of keeping silent, I decided to come out during my sophomore year in high school. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but at least I would be facing reality. My school, Schenley High School in Pittsburgh, is an inner-city public high school. It is slightly famous because Andy Warhol went there, and it's pretty liberal, but there was still the same bullying and homophobia that exist in just about every high school.

At first I only told a few people, but within a month the whole school knew. Much to my surprise, my life got better. I made a new set of friends among other students who considered themselves outsiders. Teachers, impressed by my courage, gave me support. My grades improved significantly (by the end of my junior year, my grade-point average went up to an A from a C). Sure, not every day was easy, but by lifting the burden of my secret, I was able to get my act together and start focusing on my future.

I know that not every gay high school student has such a positive experience, but I do feel that being in a school among other students who were "different" in their own way made accepting me easier. And it was great for the school. Students who had never known a gay person now knew one. And I wasn't scary to them.

I do think it's important for people to express their sexuality, even at a young age, and it's only fair that they should be able to do so in a safe environment. But if gay students are afraid of being called names, going to an exclusively gay high school is not going to solve their problems. The straight bullies (and the closeted gay bullies) will be able to thrive and fester in their own hateful paradise, while the gay students will sit around hating the bullies in theirs.

The sad truth is that gay people are discriminated against no matter what no matter where we go to school, where we live, where we work. Segregating gay students won't prevent it. Rather than promoting unity and understanding, it will foster intolerance among both straight and gay people.

Leland Scruby is a student at Carnegie Mellon University.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

August 2nd, 2003, 11:49 PM
August 3, 2003

The Harvey Milk High School

No one could argue with the good intentions behind New York City's plan to establish a public high school for gay and transgender students. The idea was to provide a safe environment for study for gay teenagers who face verbal and sometimes physical harassment in regular school settings. Some have the added problem of being ostracized and cast out by family in cultures that do not accept homosexuality. We support the school system's basic aim, and we obviously deplore the homophobic response that creation of the school has unleashed in some quarters. Still, we cannot condone the concept of establishing a special school specifically for students based on their sexual orientation.

The Harvey Milk High School named after a slain gay city official from San Francisco is an outgrowth of a longstanding program for gay students. Many of those who have gone through the program were from low-income minority families. Some were former dropouts. The program was successful, with about 95 percent of those eligible to take the Regents exams graduating from it.

The leap from a limited program-within-a-school to a special school itself may not make much difference to the students; there will be only 100 in the initial class and they will study a traditional curriculum. But it does make a difference. The city should never suggest that the solution to problems of discrimination and persecution of students who are perceived as different is to segregate them from the rest of the population. And given the small number of students at Harvey Milk, it is obvious that there will be thousands of gay teenagers who will still be part of the general classroom population.

The needs of gay teenagers can best be served by making sure that they, like all New York students, are able to attend regular public high schools in safety, free from bullying. Organizers maintain they would be happy to see applications from any student who wants to attend Harvey Milk, whatever his or her sexual orientation, but the school's stated mission needs to reflect that, in the same way that other small "boutique" schools around the city draw students interested in particular careers, course work or unique learning environments.

A school like Harvey Milk could also serve as a safe haven and short-term solution for gay teenagers and others who are most traumatized by mistreatment at their schools. In the long term, though, history has taught us the best way to fight discrimination is to dismantle it where it occurs.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Freedom Tower
August 14th, 2003, 10:16 PM
Lawsuit challenges gay high school
Thursday, August 14, 2003 Posted: 10:24 AM EDT (1424 GMT)

Story Tools * * * * *


NEW YORK (AP) -- A New York state senator and a conservative legal group have filed a lawsuit charging that a public high school for gay, bisexual and transgender students violates laws against segregation.

First public gay high school to open in NYC *

Bronx state Sen. Ruben Diaz and the Liberty Counsel filed the lawsuit Wednesday in state Supreme Court in New York City, arguing that the school breaks education rules barring discrimination based on sexual orientation.

School officials have said the school, Harvey Milk High, will be open to all students, regardless of their sexual orientation. Supporters say the school is needed to protect students who have been harassed.

Paul Rose, a spokesman for schools Chancellor Joel Klein, told the Daily News that the lawsuit was "a frivolous attack on a program that has helped children for many years."

The school is an expansion of a two-classroom program that began in 1984 and has been managed and financed by the Hetrick-Martin Institute, a gay-rights youth advocacy group.

Renovations are expected to be completed in the fall.

August 18th, 2003, 03:43 PM
The road to hell is paved with good intentions...

I don't have to justify my gay friendly credentials to anyone on this board. This is an astoundingly bad idea.

Hey, maybe they could set up a special school for other minority groups. Maybe black students want their own schools too... OH, WAIT, we tried that before didn't we! It was called segregation, and we nearly divided the nation fighting to end the practice!

Over the doorway they should engrave "Separate but Equal."

This is SUCH a bad idea... an unbelievably bad idea.

(Edited by chris at 3:46 pm on Aug. 18, 2003)

Freedom Tower
August 19th, 2003, 03:57 PM
I couldn't have said that better...