Boston University tells Academy to drop GSA

BY Advocate.com Editors

September 06 2002 11:00 PM ET

Boston University chancellor John Silber has ordered the headmaster of the prestigious secondary school Boston University Academy to disband a support group for gay and lesbian students, according to The Boston Globe. Academy administrator James Tracy complied with the order this week, according to several teachers and a BU spokesman.

The academy's gay-straight alliance had been in operation for two years, offering information and support to students who question their sexuality. University spokesman Kevin Carleton said Silber does not believe the school should host any organization that deals with students' sexuality. Silber "is not hostile to any particular gender orientation, but he feels that it's not appropriate for a school, particularly one that begins at the lower end of the secondary level, to be getting involved in the sexuality of its students," Carleton said. The academy, located on Commonwealth Avenue on university grounds, was started under Silber's auspices in 1993.

Several faculty members at the academy, all of whom asked not to be identified, said the headmaster told them on Tuesday that the gay-straight student alliance could no longer exist on campus. The teachers expressed outrage and fear concerning the message that such a dissolution will send to students. They said Tracy had no choice but to comply. Silber had made up his mind, and there was nothing Tracy could do about it, according to the teachers.

Openly gay state senator Cheryl Jacques criticized the decision. "It's misguided," she said. "Gay-straight alliances are important organizations that help teach tolerance and prevent tragedies."

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