Is Harvey Milk High School really a good idea?

Posted: Aug 06, 2003 12:00 AM

A good measure of the government is how it spends our tax dollars. So let us consider what Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, had done with our hard-earned money. Despite across-the-board tax increases, Bloomberg recently funneled $3.2 million into Harvey Milk High School, which calls itself "the nation's first accredited public high school designed to meet the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth."

Just one thing: Teenagers simply aren't emotionally ready to make radical decisions about their sexual identity. What child, for example, knows for certain that he or she should have a sex change or engage in same-sex relationships the rest of his or her life? Yet the creation of a gay public high school passively encourages children to make these decisions; decisions that will follow them around every time they fill out a job application and are asked what high school they attended.

Proponents of the homosexual lifestyle consider it all a stunning victory. But there's something insidious about indoctrinating children in order to push the homosexual agenda into the mainstream.

Nonetheless, Mayor Bloomberg has signed on, ostensibly to protect our children from all of the hate-spewing antagonists out there. "I think everybody feels that it's a good idea because some of the kids who are gays and lesbians have been constantly harassed and beaten in other schools," Bloomberg told Associated Press.

No doubt these things happen. But segregating homosexuals in their own high school does nothing to confront the discipline problem that underlies the abuse. And a fat lot of good it does for the majority of homosexuals who remain in public schools. Instead of building a wall around a couple hundred students, why not address the real problem by instituting a zero tolerance rule for bullies who harass other students based upon their ethnic, social or cultural heritage? Because the alternative is to create separate schools for every group that feels oppressed - Blacks, Jews, witches, whose ancestors were persecuted during the Salem witch trials.

Truly, this is an alarming thought. For 200 years public education in America has brought diverse groups together. It has socialized a vast tapestry of individuals and allowed for the friction of diverse minds to generate progress. Are we ready to turn our backs on that tradition by willingly segregating ourselves? Has our culture become so soft that we feel every child who is picked on is owed his or her own special corner of the universe from which to learn? That's a warm and endearing thought. But it also removes words like individual striving from the cultural dialogue.

The bottom line is, all societies have a certain propensity toward aggression and malice. At some point, children have to get out there and join the fray. Along the way, they may get picked on. We should remain deeply sensible about that possibility, but splintering our public school system - our society - along sexual, ethnic and cultural boundaries does little to help the situation. This kind of self-segregation only encourages tribal ignorance and hate. See Northern Ireland. See the Balkans. See the United States circa 2003.

This is the new American myth. Gone is the "rags to riches" ethic. Now it's "woe is me. Give me some special treatment." In this country, it is now taken for granted that the principles by which our culture has traditionally functioned are no longer deemed appropriate. Homosexuals are the victims of social intolerance, not subtle destroyers of tradition. In fact, they even deserve their own schools. A desperate situation made worse when Mayor Bloomberg and countless others enthusiastically tout the homosexual agenda. They think this is a good thing, a PC thing. Just one more indicator that our culture has become unhinged.