Plan for gay-centric Toronto school shelved
Published Thursday, September 27, 2012 8:21AM EDT
A plan to create a gay-centric high school in Toronto has been put on hold after receiving mixed reviews at a public forum Wednesday evening.
The idea, proposed by 20-year-old university student Fan Wu, was considered by about 25 people at community meeting on Church Street, the heart of Toronto’s LGBT community. Wu said the proposal would be shelved for a year after lukewarm support from the forum.
Raymond Miller, a gay advocate, said the concerns that led to the gay-centric school proposal needed to be addressed. But creating a separate school was not the right solution.
“There needs to be a safe haven for students to go if they do not feel they can complete their education at school, they don’t feel safe enough to do it. But the solution is not to remove kids to a separate school,” Miller told CTV’s Canada AM on Thursday. “The education needs to be done within the public school system, starting, frankly, before high school age.”
Wu told CTV Toronto on Wednesday that the proposed school would be open to people from every academic background, as well as every race, religion and sexual orientation. He said the school would focus of diversity and acceptance of all sexual orientations.
Miller, who participated in Wednesday’s forum, said the curriculum suggested for the gay-centric school should be implemented in the public school system.
“It is not just gay kids that need to learn about LGBT people throughout history, and their work. It is also the non-gay students,” Miller said. “You are going to have gay classmates, you are going to have friends who have gay parents. This education needs to be done within the public school system. Everybody needs to be enriched by this.”
The Toronto District School Board currently runs the Triangle Program, a gay-focused high school program at the Oasis Alternative Secondary School.
A TDSB spokesperson has said the board would consider a proposal for a gay-centric school, like they have considered proposals for other alternative schools in the past.
Fan Wu, 20, speaks to CTV Toronto about the prospects of a gay-centric school on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012.