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Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Most of you have probably heard of The GLBT public school opening in NYC. When I first heard about this, I sort of didn't care, to be honest. It seemed like yet another school tailored to a specific group which was being accomidated without overstressing a budget or taking anything away from other areas of the NY education system. If nothing else, another school is opening, and I'm hard pressed to oppose that. This would be a fairly uninteresting post, however, if my opinion stayed that way, and, sho' nuff, over the last couple days I've really gotten upset over this being allowed, let alone welcomed.

First, the prevailing reason for doing this is that heterosexually declinant* kids in normal public schools are being "...constantly harassed and beaten..." I'm not sure to whom it is news that kids in the New York City public school system have a rough time as compared to, say, Exeter, but these people need to be found, and taken out of the political decision making process. You can't get rid of harassment and pecking orders among groups of adolescents by separating them physically from their urstwhile malicious contemporaries - sure, the type of harassment might shift from calling them 'fag' to ridicule over wearing last season's Bruno Malis to a dance, but it will still be there. Every behavioral study performed on this type of situation has found that social dynamics from this age group are wildly condusive to herd mentality, and nothing helps that more than singling out someone becuase they're different.

Moreover, is the standard we want to set that any group which has a tough time in high school ought to get their own school? Aside from the intrinsic harm of officially recognizing these types of arbitrary divisions, there's the obvious problem that these kids will interact in places other than school - even if they have to get all growed up first. Like, I'm sure that black children in Georgia got less harassment when they had their own schools than they did during segregation, but that doesn't mean they were sheltered from the type of hatred certain people are wont to shower upon others. Then there's the question of what constitutes a valid level of harassment for a group to be extradited from the main pool of kids. Should we separate males from females? People above average height from those below? People with acne from those without? I was, to some degree, harassed for my choice of reading material in high school - does that mean we can split kids up like a library according to their favorite form of entertainment? Socioeconomic status? Do you see where this leads?

It's a noble goal to shelter the young'ins from the world, but it's simply not going to happen. All this segregation really does is undermine the idea that this sort of bigotry is not acceptable - from an early age kids are taught that the most minute possible details of each person are a target which makes them a different species, or at the very least of a different tribe, to whom one is not obligated show the nicities of society. This is not the way to find social acceptance of these groups - it's only one more step in the direction of a completely fractured social structure.

* I'm not sure if "declinant" is a word, but it's phoenetically inclinant, so I'll go with it.

cranked out at 2:32 AM | |

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