schools officials said Wednesday that they will support
opening a high school dedicated to gay students, citing
local and nationwide studies that show gay teens are
more likely to drop out of school because of fear of
According to an
article in the Chicago Tribune, a 2003 district
survey shows that gay and lesbian youths are three
times more likely to miss school because they feel unsafe.
The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network
released a national survey of more than 6,000 middle
and high school students on Wednesday that found that
nearly 90% were harassed at school and about 61% felt
for the Social Justice Pride Campus, which would be the
first LGBT school in Chicago, is up to a vote by the board
of education on October 22.
"We want to
create great new options for communities that have been
traditionally underserved," said school chief Arne
Duncan. "If you look at national studies, you see gay
and lesbian students with high dropout rates. ... I
think there is a niche there we need to fill."
said they anticipate the school will open in 2009 or
2010 and serve 600 students. Students would be admitted on a
currently an assistant principal at the Social Justice High
School who would be principal at Pride Campus, said lessons
about sexual identity would be incorporated in
literature and history lessons.
Some gay rights
advocates have argued that a gay high school would amount
to segregation, and every high school throughout the city
should work harder to cultivate acceptance. (The