CNN reports that Chicago’s public school system is considering adding a “gay-friendly” high school, The proposed school, called The School for Social Justice Pride Campus, will “not be exclusive to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students,” but will welcome any student looking for a culture open to alternative gender and sexual orientations. Chicago school administrators are hoping the school will help alleviate the higher drop-out and truancy rates of GLBT-identifying teens.
But this school, unlike the “gay themed” Harvey Milk School in New York’s East Village (Sean Penn plug), would be open to all students, not just those at risk of drop-out. The school plan proposes a 600-strong student body compared to Milk’s 100. And though the Harvey Milk School opened to furious religious protests in 1985, community opposition to the Pride Campus has amounted largely to concerns about use of public funds and teaching acceptance in all schools, not just GLBT-specific campuses.
The Chicago School Board will vote on the proposed school on Wed., Oct. 22.