A public meeting is being held Wednesday to gauge the interest in a possible gay-centric high school in Toronto.
University student Fan Wu, 20, says the Toronto District School Board could make life easier for some future students if they considered his proposal for a new type of high school.
Wu is hosting a forum at the 519 Church Street Community Centre Wednesday night and hopes to determine the public’s interest in the idea of a gay-centric secondary school.
But debate on Wu’s idea has already begun.
Irene Miller, president of the Toronto chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), says separating kids because of their sexual orientation won’t help encourage acceptance.
“What you’re doing is saying: ‘If we take away all the kids who are being bullied, then the bullying stops,’” Miller said. “What we should be doing is take away all the bullies and the bullying will stop. It’s the wrong end of the stick.”
‘Not a segregation project’
Wu maintains this conceptual school is “not a segregation project” but would simply be another alternative school focusing on diversity and acceptance.
“This is not an ostracism project,” Wu said. “As with most alternative schools, every student will have a choice to apply to this school, regardless of their academic standing, regardless of their financial background, regardless of their sexuality in particular.
“So we would welcome allies, straight people, lesbian, gay, bi, trans, people of all sorts into this school. There is no ghettoization going on here.”
Similar criticism about segregation was also expressed about a controversial Africentric high school program at Winston Churchill Collegiate in Scarborough.
Last week it was revealed that the program had just six students enrolled. However, the city already has an Africentric elementary school which opened in 2009.
Miller maintains that the creation of a gay-centric school isn’t working toward the bigger picture.
“It’s taking one group of children and singling them out,” she said.
“It’s a hetero-sexist society and we presume people to be straight. We should change that way of thinking because we know not every one of those children is straight so society at large has to make a pivotal change in order to educate that 10 to 15 per cent of kids in school today [who are] LGBTQ.”
The Toronto District School Board already runs the Triangle Program at the Oasis Alternative School, which is a Grade 9 through 12 curriculum taught through an LGBTQ lens.
The board says it would not comment on the proposed new secondary school until it has seen an official proposal.
Wu hopes to put forth a formal proposal if the interest shown at Wednesday’s meeting is strong enough.
Is CBC’s Rex Murphy Right Or Wrong? Are The Quebec University Student Protests out of control or effective?
I think it is easy for CBC’s Rex Murphy an old wealthy white man to state Quebec student protests for higher education are out of control. Murphy doesn’t have to worry about paying his bills he has cushy job at the CBC.
Murphy’s argument is too simplistic to just state the Quebec students have entitlement issues.
Canadians for far too long we are just too polite. The Quebec students protests have proven sometimes drastic actions must be taken to fight for student rights.
Young people are the future of Canada and if university tuition continues to rise this means students get into more debt. If students don’t fight rising tuition,
one day Canada’s university tuition will be too high for Canadians and only the wealthy can attend university.
Murphy is apathetic to student concerns. Student loans are not the solution to this Quebec student protests.
He is a conservative, so I am not surprised at his elitist attitude towards students.
Murphy’s speech is typical of the Canadian elite that younger people should just work harder to pay more.
The real question Murphy did not ask is why are Quebec’s tuition rates the lowest in Canada? Why aren’t university students in English speaking provinces demanding more? Why are university students in English Canada not complaining more?
The Quebec students are resilient and relentless they refuse to give up. Every single day there are protests across Quebec and I think the students are forcing the Canadian media and politicians to hear them.
I am cognizant that Quebec has the lowest university tuition fees in the country. However, I admire the Quebec students because their attitude is different than English Canada. In Quebec, the student groups are very organized and the students are fighting for their rights. There is a long tradition and history that education should be available for all people.