Chicago mayor puts gay high school on hold

Filed under: Teens, Gay Parenting, Day Care & Education

A rainbow flag symbolizing gay prideThe Chicago Board of Education put plans for the Social Justice Pride Campus, a high school intended to serve gay and lesbian students, on hold yesterday by putting off a vote on the matter until the middle of November. Although the mayor insisted that he did not tell the board to put off the vote, the Chicago Sun-Times refers to the group as "his handpicked school board." Whether or not Daley influenced the board, he did admit to concerns about the plan.

Mayor Richard M. Daley explained his reservations, saying "You have to look at whether or not you isolate and segregate children. A holistic approach has always been to have children of all different backgrounds in schools. When you start isolating children and you say, 'Only 50 percent here, 40 percent here' -- same thing we went through with the disabled -- then you want to do that when they're adults."

Rick Garcia, political director of Equality Illinois, agrees. "There's no doubt there's violence and bullying of gay kids and something has to be done, but segregating them is not the answer," he said, adding that "instead of a school for gay kids, maybe we need a school for the bullies." Frankly, I couldn't agree more. Instead of trying to sweep the problem under the rug by hiding gay students off at their own school, why not address the cause of the problem and stop the bullying?

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