First Public Gay SchoolHarvey Milk High School is the first public school for gays in New York. The school is designed for gays, lesbians, transgender, bisexuals and those who aren’t sure about their sexual orientation. The school is located in the East Village of New York and is named after Harvey Milk being the first gay supervisor of San Francisco, though he was killed in 1978. Firstly the school was headed by the Henrich-Martin Institute (HMI) which provided social protection and support to young people with non-traditional sexual orientation. Concerning education, students have to apply themselves and they will be transferred to high school.
It is necessary to admit that about 90% of students are African American and Latino. Graduation rate of the school is 95% and it is far above that that of the normal public schools (60%). Furst public gay school performs two main functions: educational and pragmatic.
School provides higher education to those students who can’t bear intolerance and discrimination. Nevertheless, dicsrimination can’t be completelty avoided in modern society. Furthermore, the policy of the school contradicts religious teachings and it is difficult to agree the such schools are of necessity. However, on the other hand, in the world of cultural diversity such gay schools may become common. (First Public Gay High School 2003)First gay public school performs educational function, because many of the students would never mace any progress in other schools because of discrimination and intolerance.
As it is mentioned that graduation rate is very high compared with other schools. Furthermore, the students are frank about the reasons that brought them in school, because they feel free. For example, one girl was forced to have sexual relations with younger sister and brother and had not choice than to leave home. It is necessary to agree that for gay students the school is very important, because they have been always harassed and discriminated in other schools. Gay school allows them to become educated without any troubles. Students are diverse in the school ranging from fire-fingers to pregnant girls. Nevertheless, it is apparent that school practices unorthodox atmosphere and this moment is consider negative. (When Most of Your School is Gay 2003)Furthermore, the school performs pragmatic function, because it provides alternative solution to diploma for students who have no chances to succeed in other schools because of discrimination.
Actually school makes them self-aware and self-confident and it prepares them difficult future. Students seem to flourish in the school walls. They are allowed to be themselves and not to make stupid comments. The positive moment is that students feel a sense of release. For example, republicans consider such schools pragmatic and support renovation of the school, whereas Democratic Party opposes it stating that in such age teenagers can’t be clear about their sexual orientation.
Many people allege that school practice discrimination. It is apparent, because from the social point of view such school can’t be accepted as ethical standard. Generally, many protests were organized after its opening as a public school. It is criticized that creation of gay school is socially incorrect. The question appears: “Is there any differences in teaching gays? Is there gay maths?” actually no reason allows teaching children separately, because it is wrong. It seems that school tries to incorporate students in “queer” culture. Maybe they are taught only the history of homosexual people.
Thus exclusively homosexual environment would be created. Actually, gay students mustn’t be isolated, though they are harassed. So the question is rather difficult to be answered. (When Most of Your School is Gay 2003)In conclusion it is necessary to mentioned that it is difficult to agree with the school’s policy, though it is apparent that school performs educational and pragmatic functions. Therefore gay school may remain the only school where they feel freedom and confidence because discrimination and intolerance can’t be avoided completely. Nevertheless, I think that homosexual students mustn’t be isolated in a separate environment and they must be taught in normal schools communicating with all students.
ReferencesFirst Public Gay High School to Open in NYC. (2003, July 29). Retrieved November 3, 2006, from http://www.cnn.com/2003/EDUCATION/07/28/gay.school.
ap/index.htmlWhen Most of Your School is Gay. (2003). Retrieved November 3, 2006, from http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/index.html