Safety first

Photo: 

Members of the LGBTQ community deserve a safe space in high school.

Even with many progressive measures being taken in schools and communities, gay students still face an undeniable amount of stigma and bullying. Although there’s been an emphasis on increased discussion and awareness, these problems are not going away.

A recently proposed gay-centric high school in Toronto would provide undeniable benefits to LGBTQ students who may otherwise face bullying or ignorance in their regular public schools.

While some public high schools have dealt with these issues better than others, a separate gay-centric school would offer students a respite from dealing with the negative repercussions of going to schools where being gay isn’t as well-understood and accepted.

The school would be the first of its kind in Toronto, helping to better the lives of many students who might not feel safe in their own home schools.

Since the proposal is still in its infancy, other options should be considered.

One can still create a positive space within existing public schools by facilitating a discussion amongst students themselves, regardless of their sexual identity.

By integrating LGBTQ-positive curriculums or establishing alliance clubs directly in public schools, this involves all parties — the bullies and those who are being bullied.

It ultimately educates everyone on stigma reduction, creating a more permanent solution to the problem of LGBTQ discrimination. A separate gay-centric school, on the other hand, risks denying the rest of society a discussion and education on these issues.

While a discussion in every public school is important, a gay-centric school might provide more immediate relief for students who are currently feeling unsafe and discriminated against in their high school.

At the end of the day, what’s important is that young people in the LGBTQ community feel safe and accepted in their secondary school environment, whatever form that may take. This should be the main focus of the discussion that has now been started at the Toronto District School Board, regardless of what sort of program they choose to implement.

— Journal Editorial Board

Tags: 

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.