Some time ago there was some discussion in Toronto about creating an afrocentric school. The idea was a school especially for black people that addressed black history and black culture in a way to engender pride in black heritage. I thought, and still think, that it's a really stupid idea because the curriculum in this specialized school is not what the rest of the population will be taught and when the children are re-integrated into the rest of society, they are going to believe that everyone learned the same things and it will be a bit of a culture shock to find out that the rest of the population doesn't share African roots. It makes much, much, more sense to me to bring the highlights of that heritage and those cultural issues into ALL of the schools so that everyone can be enriched by them. The children with African heritage can take pride in where they come from and the other children gain a greater understanding. Of course they didn't ASK me, and they went ahead and opened the afrocentric school and they are having some problems with it now.
Today they are talking about opening a gay, lesbian, bi, trans gender LGBT high school, (that has already been dubbed the queer school). Which has got to be a really stupid idea on so many levels. The thrust of the proposal is to create a safe place for students. Wait a minute, back up here. A safe place for students. So if you are fat and being bullied because of it, does that mean we need a separate school for fat kids?
The issue isn't that we need to create exclusive place for children and teens, the issue is that we need to teach tolerance and understanding of differences. There won't be specialized work places for people based of race, religion or gender, so it just makes a whole lot more sense to teach the younger generation growing up how to get along with one another. That IS one of the purposes of school. It isn't isolation we need, it's inclusion.
OK, I'm getting off my soapbox now.