Hi 91 / Lo 74
|Volume 68, Issue 161,
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Bridget Brown Matthew Dulin
Back in the closet?
New York elites have single handedly turned back time to 1892 when segregation was legal and when the notion of "separate but equal" made a mockery of education by basing enrollment on human differences.
Harvey Milk High School, to open in September with 100 students in the East Village is the first public school in the nation to cater only to gay, lesbian and transgender students.
Even after the ground-breaking judgement by the Supreme Court in Brown v. the Topeka Board of Education, which ruled segregated schools unequal and unconstitutional, New York is setting aside a school that requires students to posses a specific sexual orientation rather than an eager mind as a prerequisite to attendance.
Bad idea. Segregation in general harms societal progress.
But, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg supports the school and said that it will protect gays and lesbians from harassment.
Mayor Bloomberg must have fallen asleep during history class — this method of education does not hold the solution to tolerance.
By separating students based on sexual differences the New York Board of Education and Bloomberg are alienating the students, which will create more confusion and fear that will ultimately lead to violence based on the differences highlighted by the state.
Seeing as though gay and lesbian harassment is a big problem in New York public schools, instead of segregating the students, the $3.2 million dispersed for the high school's renovation would have been better spent fostering support and tolerance through student groups at all the public schools.
And because Harvey Milk High School is a public school, it would be unconstitutional to ban non-gay students from attending because taxpayers' dollars contributed to the school's renovation.
Also, segregating students based on sexual orientation is impractical. Exactly how do school officials propose to prove a student is gay, lesbian or transgender? It's preposterous to even imagine.
Regardless of New York's senseless expenditures (though it suffers a budget crisis) and the school's catering to the special needs of homosexual students, ultimately Harvey Milk High School is a form of segregation and other methods should be considered to end the discrimination.
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