It’s not as if Harvey Milk, named after a slain gay San Francisco politician, is so big that the arrests of eight students in three months can be considered inconsequential. The brand-new school has just 100 pupils. And crime wave cannot be attributed to neglect by New York City; the politically trendy high school has already received $3.2 million for renovations.
New York City’s education department calls the criminal activity “two serious, isolated incidents,” but eight arrests out of 100 students in less than three months of existence are not numbers to be ignored.
Maybe there’s no connection between the gay school and the violent Starbucks attack and the serial robberies. But maybe there is.
There’s obviously nothing inherent to homosexuality that causes or leads to violent crime, but maybe there is something about a homosexual high school that does. Taking scared, confused youths—many of whom may incorrectly believe they are gay or bisexual, just as many teens who later turn out to be gay or bisexual believe in high school that they are straight—and putting them into a segregated environment could be the equivalent of putting a lit match in a tinder box.
Protecting kids who are getting picked on—or worse—is actually a noble goal. But why resort to the bigot’s tool of segregation? Why not just teach gay teens how to beat the snot out of bullies? Wouldn’t that be better preparation for life in general? What’s a gay man or woman to do, for example, if a thug attacks? Run to a segregated area? Of course not. But self-defense training would seem essential in such a situation.
When news broke this summer that Harvey Milk would become the first public school of its kind, Principal William Salzman said, “This school will be a model for the country and possibly the world.” If the early results are any indication, let’s hope not.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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