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Question from a daily e-mail that asks questions - a world of possibility
moowazz
moowazz
Question from a daily e-mail that asks questions
For anyone curious this is from here.



In my opinion it would probably cause more harm than anything else.

Having a specifically "gay" highschool is just as bad as having an all christian or all korean or any school geared specifically towards any race or religion. Unless there is proof that kids would learn better, it would probably promote more predjudices against differences.

If the idea is to promote more self confidence amongst gay youth - teach classes in acceptance, understanding, and self-esteem. By separating students it might only make them feel society does not know how to deal with them and therefore just puts them aside. Or worse, what if they end up feeling like they're not good enough to go to a "normal" school.

Then there is the opposite problem. I shall use having an "all chrisitan" school as an example. Anyone who is not christian might feel left out ir denied something because they are not able to get into that school, especially if it is known for a good education while other schools in the area are not. Should kids have to be forced to take classes in christianity in order to get a good education?

I believe one thing that is not taught in higschools and should be is acceptance and understanding of cultures from around the world. Who is to say any culture, race, religion, even gender, is better than another?

Ideally, I would like to see an opposite sort of school appear. One where they would like to have as many differences in their students as possible and have the students learn about each and every one of these differences so as to understand and appreciate the variety in life.

I say this even after having gone to an all female highschool for the majority of my years (3rd grade until 10th grade). As much as I felt I benefitted from this experience, I feel it is because of the way schools are set up. I gained a lot more self confidence and willingness to speak up compared to the females who were at the co-ed school I transferred to in my 11th grade year, but I feel this is because there are not any classes taught on self esteem or understanding and appreciating being unique.

I understand that school is about education, but just because it isn't in a text book, it does not mean that it shouldn't be taught or that it isn't a valuable life lesson. School is to prepare you for all of life, not just your job.

What is your opinion?


I hope everyone is well :)~
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Comments
sassenach From: sassenach Date: July 29th, 2003 11:20 am (UTC) (Link)
can the bi kids go? and i'm wondering if/how a student would "prove" they're gay??

i mean, damn, i didn't come out as bi until college :( but i would totally have been comfy in a gay school.

not to mention, usually the gay kids aren't the ones that need classes in acceptance, now do they?

*shakes head*
low_key From: low_key Date: July 29th, 2003 12:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, bi is allowed.
sassenach From: sassenach Date: July 29th, 2003 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
ok, so that opens up a whole new can of worms, there-- like why call it a "gay" school? and what happens if i decide to date a boy instead of a girl? am i gonna get harrassed at gay school because of it?

(of course this is all totally hypothetical, but i'm using it to show a few flaws with this kind of thinking)
low_key From: low_key Date: July 29th, 2003 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think that if a bi went hetero after a while it would necessarily be that big a deal. I think this school is probably more meant to be a safe environment than it is exclusiveness. Someone who was bi going hetero would still have the necessary empathy to not mess up the overall vision for the school.

Of course that's just my opinion and I could be full of it.
moowazz From: moowazz Date: July 29th, 2003 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
which is exactly why I think making them go to a separate school would make those who already become jaded against anyone who is not like themselves more so.

The people who are already "homophobic" (not sure politically correct term to use) will become more so because they will figure they don't need to worry about them because they will no longer be in school with them (lemme know if the "they"s and "them"s got confusing).

glad you had some nice "you" time :)
low_key From: low_key Date: July 29th, 2003 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
You realize you pretty well contradict yourself and shoot your own argument in the foot by admitting that you benefited from going to an all-girl school.

I think it's a great idea. By allowing gay/lesbian/bi kids to be in a supportive environment, it will allow them to develop their own identity without feeling the need to hide who they feel they are. The part you are missing/ignoring is that high school is a meat grinder that tears up those that are different. (See Columbine for further insight.) I don’t particularly care for the fact that a high school like this is necessary. I wish there was another way, but the caste system you find in high school is as stringent as anything you'll see in India. The whole truth is that, especially at that level, society DOESN'T know how to deal with them. Also, it's not like all the gay kids are being herded off; don’t overlook that this is a voluntary school; this is their choice. If these kids can find a safe haven where they can develop, good for them.
moowazz From: moowazz Date: July 29th, 2003 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I benefitted, but my point about that was I believe the reason it happens to be that way currently is because schools are too lazy to take the time and figure out a way for kids to still be in a supportive environment without being separated from everyone who is not like them.

Yes it helped me to be more comfortable with standing out of a crowd when it came to school stuff, but when it came to socializing, I had not clue how to talk to boys. They were a different species and the only reason to talk to boys was if you wanted a boyfriend.

I don’t particularly care for the fact that a high school like this is necessary. I wish there was another way, but the caste system you find in high school is as stringent as anything you'll see in India. The whole truth is that, especially at that level, society DOESN'T know how to deal with them.

Exactly! I think time and money would be better spent figuring out the best way to make kids feel more comfortable in any environment - otherwise when they get to the "real" world and find it's not like their comfortable school, a lot of them will be screwed.

Also, it's not like all the gay kids are being herded off; don’t overlook that this is a voluntary school; this is their choice. If these kids can find a safe haven where they can develop, good for them.

This is true. At the same time they might feel pressured into it to hide from issues caused by kids saying "you're gay? Why don't you go to that gay school? Why are you taking up space in our school?" Or anything similar to that.
sassenach From: sassenach Date: July 29th, 2003 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think time and money would be better spent figuring out the best way to make kids feel more comfortable in any environment

agreed. let's try to make all the kids feel accepted! (and yes, the cynical anti-school part of me realizes that this will never happen, but since we're on the subject...)

knowing that high school is a farce, and can have castes (though i for one transcended it pretty well), having a separate "gay" school doesn't make it any easier for kids who are different in some way but not gay.

and we won't even go into the number of kids who would love to go, but have to figure out how to come out to their parents first (arguably the hardest part of being gay!)
low_key From: low_key Date: July 29th, 2003 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Kids have (unprotected) sex.
Kids drive fast
Kids drink
Kids take drugs
Kids cheat
Kids steal
Kids Lie

These are all things that we try to teach them not to do. How successful do you think we would be trying to teach them to not fear/hate that which is different? What about the parents? Come 3:00 everything you've been trying to tell the ones that need the message most (possibly) gets negated at home.

Teaching tolerance would be a great idea, but it just isn't practical. And in the mean time, you have another reason to separate them from everyone else. How much unwarranted resentment would be created through forcing those that may never change to attend classes to try to get them to? On top of all that, how many years is it going to take? How many generations of gay kids will have to suffer until the experiment pays off or fails?

When it comes to functioning in the real world, I think you have it backwards. This won't prevent them from functioning in the real world. These kids have to live in the real world. They know how the real world works, this just gives them a break from the real world where they can develop without additional pressure. They can't do anything, anytime without a reminder that they aren't part of what is "normal".

I don't think that your problem socializing with boys is really comparable...or maybe it is...You weren't allowed to socialize so your social/sexual development was stunted. Gay kids today have to hide/repress that aspect of themselves in order to fit in, which is going to stunt them. The only way that your experience would truly be comparable is if the entire time you were in girls school, you were being told that you should b
moowazz From: moowazz Date: July 29th, 2003 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Part 1

Teaching tolerance would be a great idea, but it just isn't practical. And in the mean time, you have another reason to separate them from everyone else. How much unwarranted resentment would be created through forcing those that may never change to attend classes to try to get them to?

Tolerance include everything, not necessarily limited to sexuality - race, religion, culture - anything. People don't tolerate things because they don't understand them. People fear things that they don't understand.

So yes, if the tolerance were only for one specific subject, then yeah, it might cause more trouble than help. Or maybe having different classes on different subjects and having kids be required to only take one - but by taking even one of them if there is a way to teach it so the kids will relate it to anything "different".

Like if some kid chose to take the course on religious tolerance while another took one on sexual orientation tolerance (just randomly making these up) if the idea of tolerance, or better said "acceptance", is taught thoroughly, it is a concept that should span throughout everything -work, school, relationships, hobbies, going to the DMV to get your license - anything in your life.

I don't think that your problem socializing with boys is really comparable...or maybe it is...You weren't allowed to socialize so your social/sexual development was stunted. Gay kids today have to hide/repress that aspect of themselves in order to fit in, which is going to stunt them. The only way that your experience would truly be comparable is if the entire time you were in girls school, you were being told that you should be a lesbian

moowazz From: moowazz Date: July 29th, 2003 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Part 2

I didn't mean it as a direct comparison, I just meant it in the sense that there are flaws that come with anything. As great as separating them may be, it will also cause problems.

What about the parents?Come 3:00 everything you've been trying to tell the ones that need the message most (possibly) gets negated at home.

First, at some point the parents were kids. And yeah, they may not be tolerant, but we need to start somewhere. And, as stated above, if taught properly, the idea will spread into all aspects of the kids life.

Say the kid learns to be more accepting of other kids who come from a different religious background because thanks to the class they realise that religion is not the definition of a person, rather only a part of them. When this kid goes home to mom and dad who believe differently, who believe that anyone who is of a different religion is bad, the kid learns to accept that as well. The kid will think "well, the way my folks were brought up they believe that all religions are bad except theirs. I don't believe this and this is ok. I still love my parents and my parents will still love me. We don't have to feel the same way about everything. I prefer chocolate, they prefer vanilla"

This also has to do with teaching good self esteem - that people do not judge you by everything you decide, but kids will only believe this if this is what is shown to them.

It goes back to fear. Kids are afraid of being different because they are afraid of not being loved or liked. If they do something the person who loves or likes them disapproves of they are afraid they will no longer be loved or liked. Therefore if the majority of people have a certain opinion, they will most likely go along with it to stay loved or liked. At the same time, if they find someone else who has a different opinion, they will attempt to make said person feel bad about their opinion to make it clear to the majority that said person is wrong and majority is right - even if in reality they feel the said person's opinion is better than the majority opinion. They do this because they feel if the majority has one opinion it must be better than said person just because it is the majority and therefore "normal". Often said person changes their opinion and becomes part of the vicious cycle or feels that they are abnormal or left out.

Teach people to understand and they no longer fear. Teach them that it is ok and they will still be loved if they are different and they no longer feel they need to be "normal".

I think all your points are valid and good ones, I also think we need to do something to change all of this and why not start now?
low_key From: low_key Date: July 30th, 2003 09:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Part 2

Oh, you did finish it. :-)
Sorry, I never got an email for this one.
Will get back to you today.
low_key From: low_key Date: July 30th, 2003 09:30 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Part 2

Crap, I've completely lost the flow of my argument, so now I'm going to have to start over and come up with something brilliant like..."u suk" :-P

I do have a logistical question for you. Where in the day are we going to find an hour just to teach tolerance. (Religious, Racial, Sexual, or Otherwise.) What classes get cut from the mandatory curriculum? What do you deem as being not important enough for kids to learn, so they can learn this? (Catcher in the Rye? Hamlet? Astronomy? Trigonometry? Theater? Music? History? Government?) How much is it going to cost for new books and materials? (That one's more rhetorical, but we both know the drama and music departments are going to bleed for this one.) How long is it going to take to get teachers taught?

If you want to start now teaching tolerance now, fine. Start. But realize that this is going to take decades...and I'm being optimistic. Don't make the kids that will never benefit from this bit of social engineering suffer unnecessarily. If kids are requesting to go here, there is a reason behind it. Let these kids be safe. If there is enough of a demand, build more schools. (I'm thinking along the lines of private schools here.) Ultimately, this is a good idea.
moowazz From: moowazz Date: August 1st, 2003 07:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Part 2

I think it's worth finding time. Think of it this way, how often do you actually use what you learned in government or science unless you are interested in those fields or it is job related?


How often do you use your social skills?

I dunno, just a different way to think about it. I also think a lot of it has to do with how people are brought up - but that's a whole nother can o worms :)~

I hope you be well :)
low_key From: low_key Date: August 1st, 2003 07:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Part 2

Good morning,
Just rolled out of bed, but in reply to your Government question, that's one class I don't think we have enough of. We have a country full of people that think they know what their constitutional rights are, but have no idea. All the people who thought that those that apposed the war and by not supporting the shrub were being un-American really had no concept of what it means to be an American. They could have use more time studying Jefferson. (History/Government)

Science - Do you know how many different types of clouds it takes to make a tornado? (Seven) Do you know the principal behind why your car hydroplanes on wet roads? How do the drugs you take effect your body? If you want to clear smoke out of your house and you have a blower, which way do you point the blower? You've got heartburn but no Rolaids, what should you do?
We use science every day. We just don't always realize it. Everything McGuiver did was science based. Besides, if we don't have science we become slaves to technology, not masters of technology.

Ok, need to run off to work.
Take care Sweetie.
moowazz From: moowazz Date: August 1st, 2003 07:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Part 2

oh, I completely agree and it would be great if we could keep as much in our heads at all times, but - let me put it this way, in my opinion good social interaction leads people to be more curious and want to learn more. Especially after reading the book that I am currently into - where scientific expirements give evidence towards exctly that theory.

If someone feels alone, they don't want to read or learn, they don't care about anything else - what they do want to do is sulk and either be left alone completely or comfortaed.

OK I could go more into this, but yeah I agree there is much that could be learned, at the same time by teaching people to be interested in the world, when they have question about something instead of just assuming to ask an expert they will want to go research it themselves - and this goes into both that new can of worms as well as another one - the general school system and ow we teach.

eep need food!

have a wonderful day :)
low_key From: low_key Date: July 29th, 2003 04:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Part 1

TEASE!

You're going to make me wait for the rest of your answer?! No fair. :-P
low_key From: low_key Date: July 29th, 2003 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Last Paragraph again. :-)

The only way that your experience would truly be comparable is if the entire time you were in girls school, you were being told that you should be a lesbian because that's what is expected of you.
jen_rocks From: jen_rocks Date: July 29th, 2003 11:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
good grief. they might as well bring back the whites-only schools or open a straights-only school. i can see how it -might- add some self confidence might be given to some who would attend it, but self confidence is not a gift. you cant go to a store and buy it. you cant ask for it for christmas. it's something you have to get and grow on your own, no matter where you go. i think it's a bad idea. it'd just be way too much money and cause way too many problems (goodness, think of all the hazing and hatred that would start). instead, why not save money and tax dollars and your well stated argument of saying it's ok to divide because of differences instead of working together, and just start making gay clubs at public schools available. it'd offer the same support, it wouldnt cost any more money, and it wouldnt cause some big prejeduce (sp is way off, i know) war. plus, it would take up time outside of school, so it'd allow any people desiring to be members to mix and mingle with anyone who wasnt a member of the little club thing, and be able to spread their opinions and let everyone know just because you can love anyone, and not just one gender, instead of keeping it all hidden and locked away in a private institution.

my 2c. =]
moowazz From: moowazz Date: July 30th, 2003 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
thank you for joining in the conversation :)~
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