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Author Topic: How does your school handle homophobia?
badly_behaved_badger
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The reason I am asking ths question is because a while back, my school had an anti-racism workshop (which by the way I thought was a great idea) But I'd like to see more being done about homophobia. I think it's very important to educate people about being tolerant towards others, regardless of their race, sexuality, beliefs...I've read a thread on GSA's and other clubs but I was wondering, does your school have a homophobia issue and if so, how do they deal with it? (if indeed they deal with it at all) Is homophobia dealt with as seriously as other forms of bullying? Thanks a lot everyone...
*Badger*

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"Dear Lord, the gods have been good to me. As an offering, I present these milk and cookies. If you wish me to eat them instead, please give me no sign whatsoever... thy will be done (munch munch munch.)" -Homer Simpson


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Pumpkin_Pie
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As some veteran scarleteeners may remember, I worte a letter to my principal about the levels of harrassment and crap I was putting up with in school because of my being gay.


Well, the day after she got it my principal went on our intercom and told us all how mportant it was to...


keep our classrooms tidy.

Yeah, that's how my school deals with homphoboia.


*Sigh*


p.s. I'm not giving up just yet. I'm a one woman gay actvist group!! Hee hee


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Blue Roses
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I'm a freshman at Bryn Mawr College this year, and our Rainbow Alliance does a neat awareness campain - every year we hang "vampire triangles" (The origin of the name has been lost to antiquity) around the campus...they're large triangles of construction paper with amusing/thought-provoking messages about sexality on them. It seems to do a lot to make people think about their feelings on the issue...not that we really need it on this campus, but activities like that make coming out here REALLY easy!
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fly_little_wing
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Last year we had an 'Issues Week' in which speakers came in to talk to us about numerous issues teens face, one of which was homophobia. It was a WONDERFUL session.
Just last week, we had an Equity Day. (The name is self-explanitory) I also attended a seminar that dealt with what to do if your friend tells you they're gay. The kids in the group were a little shy with contributing ideas, so I ended up answering most of the questions.
Given that from April of last year to October of this year my school's had 2 sessions on homophobia, I'd say they're pretty aware of it and know how to deal with it well.

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And now she's walking through the clouds with a circus mind that's running wild. ~ Butterflies and zebras and moonbeams and fairytales. ~ All she ever thinks about is riding with the wind. ~ When I'm sad she comes to me. ~ With a thousand smiles she gives to me, free. ~ 'It's alright, it's alright' she says. 'Take anything you want from me. Anything.'


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BlackRoseFaery
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My school does absolutely nothing about it. Even some of the teachers make gay jokes. And the fact that my school is in the conservative south doesn't help, since they think that tolerance=approving "the homosexual lifestyle."

Oh yeah, a little offbeat side note. Blue Roses, you're so lucky!! I wish I could go to Bryn Mawr.

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Art is why I get up in the morning, but my definition ends there. You know it doesn't seem fair, that I'm living for something I can't even define" - Ani D.


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Shenzie2007
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Oi. My school, as far as I know (I'm knew this year) does not do anything to prevent homophobia. On the other hand, if it's already happened, they'll deal with it swiftly. :/

I hear kids all over the place saying 'that's so gay' or '[person's name] is such a f*g.' And it's often right under teachers' noses!

So really, they could do better. I think they're sorta half-planning a session on health and sexuality in the spring, but...that's a little late, and these are only eighth graders in Texas, so it'll prolly be kinda 'bare necessities' unless someone like me gets involved.

Now that I think about it, I need to go talk to the counselor.

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«artistic deviation from the so-called norm»

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'Lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. I„! I„! Cthulhu fhtagn! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah-nagl fhtagn! -- Text found embedded deep within the code of Windows 95. It explains much.

[This message has been edited by Shenzie2007 (edited 10-19-2002).]


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Sunset_Rose
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My school really doesnt do a lot. They just tend to avoid the subject, and a lot of my friends say 'Thats so gay' meaning thats so stupid. Its really annoying, and I get really upset when people say faggot, etc.
One guy in my class is completly homophobic, and often makes comments, but most treachers just tell him to be quiet, and theres never any kind of repercussions or punishment.
Its so wrong! Grrrr

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razorkisses
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hah.
in my school.
if you're gay, you get shit on.
end of story.

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SirenPorter
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Wow...wow.
Although my school doesn't really do anything but put up posters, it's really a good place to be GLB. actually i heard from a few lesbian friens of mine that i go to the most openly gay school in my area. which is probably true. there are posters all over the counciling board about being gay/lesbian/bi. i sat there and read them when i was called down to the counciling office, i spend 80% of my time in the couciling wing of my school, the teachers don't even ask what i'm doing anymore, useuallly it's because i'm helping out with something. lol ah well...

-Siren

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thisonecanbe
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My school handling homosexuality? Non existent! I live in southern Ohio, in the heart of hickland and cow pastures. There is one male at my school who is openly gay, and he has the hardest time. It's so sad.
Our school is also very racist. There is maybe one or two black people in the whole district.
Our teachers are on strike right now, and they hired a security firm, and all the guards are black, so you can just imagine how that pans out.

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...i've done all i can do; could i please come with you?


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JustSomeGuy
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they don't, really.

sure, there's a GSA, but I think all they do is hang up posters with various statistics relating to GLBT students (such as "XX% of GLBT students feel unsafe in school", etc.), and usually those posters disappear after being up not too long. anything remotely related to homosexuality is usually ridiculed, and most likely students have ripped down the posters.

I heard that once, the GSA wanted to get a poster approved (all items posted in hallways have to be approved by one of the Assistant Principals). the principal supposedly rejected it because it was "too free"- the words Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered were placed randomly around the poster. they had to rearrange them so that they were straight (so to speak, no pun intended, etc.), in a list. how rediculous.

people refer to things and people as 'gay' all the time. people are called fags. administration doesn't seem to care. I've seen the principal stop people in the hallway if he hears them say f*** or something like that, but I have never an administrator or teacher say anything to any student because he or she called someone a fag. why do they consider f*** more severe than fag? both can be hurtful to some people. but they don't seem to care.

as long as I have been in the school (I am currently in 11th grade, my third year in the school), there has not been any kind of school wide sessions to teach tolerance for the GLBT community. same goes for racism. I am convinced that, for a variety of reasons, this being only one, every administrator at my school is a moron. if anyone even suggested any kind of tolerance teaching program or anything more than a few posters in the hallways, I doubt that anything would be allowed. I wish that there was some way to speak out against anything the school does. like some kind of large scale appeal to administration. but there are too few GLBT students, and not enough unity. you would think that as a school of 3,000 students and I believe the largest in the area (probably the largest in the county), we would set an example for others, and that we would have everything. but we have a backwards administration, and a basically non existant GLBT group that lacks the presence necessary to make any kind of changes.


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drums4mylife
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Well....my school doesn't do anything to prevent/deal with homophobia, they actually condone it, really...I mean, they don't put up posters that say "lynch your local fag over thanksgiving", but it's as catholic (we've got nuns) as you can get. So, there is A LOT of homophobia. I wanted to do an English project on the irreplaceable Oscar Wilde, and my teacher told me that wouldn't be the best idea in the world because "he had such an unsavory lifestyle"...so, needless to say, I ended up doing Emily Bronte, which completes my list of English projects on the Brontes....But, anyway, they think homosexuality is evil, blah blah blah....I hate DC....*Alex*

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"I swear to drunk I'm not God!"


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Heather
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You know, you can get support for that Alex to help fix it.

The list of local GLBT organizations Dzuunmod gave you in another thread can help -- you just need to hook up with them and ask.

It's a little more work to do that than to just loathe your situation, but not only does being pproactive benefit you, it can make things very different for those who come after you.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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Daydreamer24
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My school doesn't really do anything about it, but maybe that's because we never really have any problems with it.

No one (to my knowledge) gets harassed. Basically, people respect you for whatever beliefs you take part in. But of course, there's the occasional insecure bunch, and that happens at eevry high school.

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"I'd rather be a fence post in Texas then the king of Tennessee!" -KKBQ


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Maevie
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I go to an all-girls Catholic school. And it isn't as bad as I thought it would be when I first went there. Although there hasn't been any extreme cases of homophobia there's a hell of a lot of little comments. Like 'oh that so *gay*' about something negative or 'she's such a dyke'. The school chooses to ignore all these things.

Three years ago two girls went to the prom together and *everyone* knew about it. But I didn't hear anything negative which was a plus.

We're supposed to be having a talk on 'Relantionships and Sexuality' soon and hopefully it'll inculde some postive comments about being gay/bi/whatever. Here's hoping!

*Maevie*


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PoetgirlNY
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Maevie, you can of course do more than just hope. If you can find out who is giving the talk on relationships and sexuality, maybe you could go talk to that teacher (or whoever it is) about including sexual orientation in the discussion.

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You were never no locomotive, Sunflower, you were a sunflower!
-Allen Ginsberg


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smittenkitten
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Well, my college is a great place sexuality aside. I know plenty of queer people there, and while no one gets harassed (to my knowledge), there is no GSA or queer ggroup in the school.

We do have a strong christian following among both teachers an students, and while they aren't necessarily homophobic, I feel that any queer group that formed might be overshadowed by their group.

Oh, and we have a couple of token posters in the student welfare area.

I do my bit though, and walk around wearing a shirt that says "GAY" in big red letters. Gotta love watching those jaws drop.

Winnie :0)

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Keeper of:
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laurelm
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My school does nothing, and living in hicksville basically, unfortunately there is a considerable amount of homophobia here. A couple of my really good friends are gay, and while a lot of people know, they aren't really very open about it here in town or at school. If I tell people they're my friends people are often like "woah, you know he's gay right?" (I don't get homophobia!)

There's this one group of really nasty guys that likes to yell out stuff to one of my friends when he passes them in the halls, and while he's pretty tough eventually he just couldn't take it and was getting really depressed. He went to the guidance counsellor; she had a small chat with one of them, but she basically just said that kids get teased all the time and there's not much they can do about it. If my friend was black or asian (sadly also a huge non-existent sight at my very non-diverse school) and people were making racist comments I know the school would be on that so fast... It's just infuriating, and I can't understand it.


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drums4mylife
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Hey Maevie oppressed catholic school girls unite! I hear "thats so gay" all the time at my school too...coincidence? hm. but yeah, there is a lot of homophobia in DC, it's way too preppy. too many lawyers...okay well I know I posted before but I'm glad there's somebody else who's in my situation (aka I have a sista lol)...peace kids, *alex*

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[Edited- please keep your language clean!]

"Nature gives you the face you have at twenty. It is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty."-Coco Chanel

[This message has been edited by PoetgirlNY (edited 12-22-2002).]


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morningafter
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I'm the president of my schools GSA. Last year (when I was a freshman) was our first year. We got great "support" (read: mainly paper support [our superintendent, however, has been amazing. He invited me to speak at a conference to the other superintendents of Massachusetts]) from the admin. We hijacked a faculty training meeting to educate the teachers on related issues (such as how to deal with homophobia). Eventually, we managed a school-wide assembly. It was.... amazing. I have the scripts for both on the GSA's website (I'm the web mistress), if you are interested.
This year we went to the middle schools (my high school is regional) for faculty training meetings and, if all goes well, we will be doing a student presentation for the eigth grades at both schools.
The important thing to remember is to be an advocate for yourself. I'm not some big raging type, but I have often found that you need to stand up for yourself or it will never be better for anyone else.
Good luck.

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---

smudged eyeliner


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punkfag
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I left my old school because of homophobia...the social worker accused me of recruitment...really...

Now I go to a school for queer youth- http://schools.tdsb.on.ca/triangle/

It's super important for schools to include anti-homophobia stuff in their "diversity days", or when they do anti-racist work....schools here are doing it...I volunteer for a planned parenthood program that does anti-homophobia workshops (http://ppt.on.ca/teach.html), mostly in schools...more places should have programs like that....


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phillygurl102387
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my school doesn't do anything about it and it's wrong about 2weeks ago a boy got jumped because he was gay and had to be rushed to the hospital and th staff at my school just ignored it and i feel the was wrong
Posts: 7 | From: philadelphia,pa | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ClumsyKiddo32
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ha
quote:
Originally posted by punkfag:

Now I go to a school for queer youth- http://schools.tdsb.on.ca/triangle/




Why are americans always making fun of *Canada* and why is there a song that says, "we hate *Canada*" when *Canada* is clearly a heck of a lot better off on the homosexual front than the US! (on a lot of fronts, actually, but sticking with the overall topic...) A whole school for GLBT? Dude! My god, the US president is a hick for chrissake- we can't even get GSA's in some towns (or at least not without getting teased/beat up relentlessly), much less a whole gay school! I don't understand this country sometimes. What is up with the USA? why can't we give up the prejudices and be more like Canada? I guess I should just be happy we have QAF here. <sigh>

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and people think that gays have it easy!ha!

[This message has been edited by ClumsyKiddo32 (edited 12-30-2002).]


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KandyKorn17
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Hey hey, i didnt see anybody here singing any verses of We Hate Canada, so please do not just start dissing a whole country. It's not very nice.
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PoetgirlNY
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Actually there is a GLBT high school in New York City. It's called the Harvey Milk School.

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You were never no locomotive, Sunflower, you were a sunflower!
-Allen Ginsberg


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ClumsyKiddo32
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quote:
Originally posted by KandyKorn17:
Hey hey, i didnt see anybody here singing any verses of We Hate Canada, so please do not just start dissing a whole country. It's not very nice.

i wasn't trying to insult Canada, I love Canada! So sorry if I offended anyone


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Funnybunny04
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I needed to fume about this. From what I've seen, my school acts like no one is gay, and when someone has the guts to put themselves out there, the get made fun of. It's so stupid.I wish people would open their eyes a little.
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RossGGG
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There is a GLBTQ High School in Dallas, Texas called the Walt Whitman Community School (http://www.waltwhitmanschool.org). I was actually thinking about transferring there for my junior year, but I like the school I am going to right now a lot (except for the fact that the walt whitman community school was started by some of the board members of the school i go to now because it's student body wasn't as tolerant of homosexuality as they wanted it to be).
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punkfag
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we're not the only one...just the only one in Canada...there's one in NYC and in Dallas...

We, are, however, the only high school for queer youth that just had a documentary made about us (we filmed the last scene on Friday)...well, it started off as a doc about the school, and turned into a doc about three students who happen to go to the school (I'm one of them). CBC, Canada's government-funded national station, will be airing it in late march/early april. So there. Canada rocks (just teasing)....


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UKgirl
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Well, if you think its bad in the US...
http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/Ukpga_19880009_en_5.htm#mdiv28

this law (section 28) makes it pretty difficult for anyone to introduce tho topic of homosexuality in any lessons. Teachers can deal with individual cases of bullying, but thats it.


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britt0285
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Hey Ross,
I live in the Dallas area too. Kind of irrelavent but I was just reading everyones comments....

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Dzuunmod
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Just a question for the people who are mentioning the GLBT schools... do you all think that this is a good idea? A step in the right direction?

The schools that you're all talking about, are they publicly-funded? I see, punkfag, that your school is under the same school board as all public schools in the district are. What about the ones in the U.S.? I can't imagine that publicly-funded schools geared to gay students would go over very well in Dallas, say.

How do these schools differ from 'regular' schools? What age groups do they take?

It's strange, persecuted groups appear to have gone full circle, kind of. Black people, natives, etc. used to be forced into their own schools, where they wouldn't mix with white people. Now, GLBT people are opening their own schools. This is absolutely disastrous. Keeping GLBT people separate from the rest of the population isn't going to make homophobia better. It's going to reinforce dangerous ideas that some people have about anyone who's not straight.

Obviously I have a lot of concerns about this. Oh boy, I can really feel myself getting going - this is going to be a long post, I think. I'll start at the top, and work down. I just hate to see people living in their own little worlds, and trying hard to not pay too much attention to what's going on around them. I suppose that if some GLBT people want to live in their own little GLBT bubble, and not have to deal so much with people who aren't like them, there isn't much I can do about it. But it doesn't mean that I have to like it. Humans should be focusing on bringing themselves closer together, not on spending less time with people that they find objectionable (and yes, building walls around ourselves is no better than the guy who says 'I don't mind gay people, as long as they aren't in my face about it'.)

It's disgusting to me, personally, that public money is going to support a GLBT school in Toronto. I don't like that public funds in much of Canada support the Catholic school system, and I don't like this, either. How was this not in the news? Where was all the controversy when this started up? Why wasn't the Toronto Sun scandalizing this?

Honestly, the hypocrisy of the gay community astounds me sometimes. On one hand, I hear, "We're all different, and our community is so diverse, and don't say that all gay men like this or that all lesbians like that, because you're stereotyping us...", but on the other, this concept says to me, "we're all different - different from straight people, that is! We need our own schools to study GLBT history, issues and culture." Well, if the community is so diverse, aren't these schools going to be alienating a large portion of the GLBT population, because the curriculum can only cover so much?

In short, I think this is really misguided. It's a judgement call, on my part, but it's a judgement call that I'm allowed to make, when the idea's being executed on the public dime.

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"And when I'm gone, she'll never leave me. No, no she'll never, be untrue. And buddy if you do not believe me, you don't believe the sky is blue."
-Joel Plaskett, Down at the Khyber

[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited 01-14-2003).]


Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
punkfag
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Yes, the school here in Toronto is publicly funded, as is the one in New York. The one in Dallas is private. Why do we need the school? Believe me, the school's goal is to end the need for the school. We would happily close it down, if students weren't coming to the school who really need it. We have students, many of whom are returning to school after dropping out, who have been beaten up, harrassed daily, and kicked out of their homes. Many of us have, or currently are, dealing with issues of poverty and homelessness, drug/alcohol use, depression, suicide, abuse, and identity. I have begun to transition from female to male in this school- in a mainstream school, I would have dropped out and never returned. It's just not safe. It's homophobic atttitudes like those of Dzuunnmod that create the need for our school. I agree that Catholic schools shouldn't be publicly funded. You know why- because those schools discriminate, and because the students who go there could function fine at public schools. That isn't the case for us. Plus, our school really doesn't cost that much to run. We get free lunches and subway fare, but that is funded by donations and volunteers. I think it's disgusting that you claim to know what we have experienced. So there.

btw, to the person who said that at least you have QAF in the U.S., guess where it's filmed- right here in Toronto. The sets look nothing like Pittsburgh, but they thought American audiences wouldn't watch a show based in Canada (even though Toronto queer landmarks all all over the show- even in the plot)


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logic_grrl
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I think punkfag's making a very valid point here.

Specialist GLBT schools weren't started out of some impulse to "live in a little GLBT bubble" - they were started because of the huge numbers of GLBT kids being beaten up, harrassed, driven to suicide or forced to drop out of "mainstream" schools.

If the public education system can't even guarantee the basic physical safety and right to learn of so many of its students in the public schools, then I think it's entirely right and proper that the public education system should have to pay for them to be educated in places where they can learn in safety.


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Heather
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Just an interjection here: punkfag, I've really appreciated your contributions all over the boards here, and how well-spoken you usually are.

But let's be sure not to leap too fast -- I don't see Dzuunmod expressing any homophobic behaviour here. I see him expressing conncern that sheltered environments for GLBT youth COULD do more harm than good to everyone in some ways. And Dzuunmod can be anyone expressing that opinion, before you assign him an orientation (without even asking him what his is, or assuming if he opposes this he must be heterosexual, or that that must be his impetus) -- it's hardly relegated to straight folks, and even were it coming from that viewpoint, that concern hardly need be rooted in homophobia, but in quite the opposite.

I'm not sure I agree with that entire at all (and I personally think that right now, we do -- unfortunately -- have a need for GLBT schools and don't see that even though that need is due to negatives that it can't be executed positively), nor really with how it was presented, but I certainly see the risks of such, and it's a valid question he's asking. It's certainly one the school administrators probably ask a lot to be sure and avoid those pitfalls as best they can.

[Edited for clarity: if everyone could also please just keep their tone in check and cool it with the "disgustings" that'd be grand. Thanks]

------------------
Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 01-14-2003).]


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