Pro-Family Groups Call NYC's Homosexual High School a Tragic Mistake
by Bill Fancher and Jenni Parker
(AgapePress) A pro-family advocate says New York City's decision to open a high school for homosexual students is a return to segregation -- and a tragedy.
The Harvey Milk School (HMS) will open with 100 students this fall. Culture and Family Institute (cultureandfamily.org) director Bob Knight feels the new school, which caters to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth," is not the direction to take education.
"Here you have a failing public school system in New York, and they're going to shovel three million dollars to take poor sexually confused kids out and create a gay prep school for them. That's a tragedy for these kids," Knight says.
Knight questions the measure as a responsible use of public funds. "The taxpayers have to be scratching their heads. Is this how they want their money spent, creating an elite institution apart from the rest of the school system?" he asks.
HMS has operated since 1984 as a program of the New York City Department of Education's Career Education Center. Now, through a collaboration between the Department of Education and the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI), the school has become a fully-accredited four-year high school for "LGBTQ" youth, who often find it difficult to attend their zoned schools due to abuse and harassment. Many proponents of the school believe the alternative program is a necessary provision for a group with special needs.
Knight says rather than segregation, equal treatment for these students, along with enforcement of existing laws, would be a better solution. "Let's make the schools safe for everybody. Let's teach civility. Let's make sure nobody gets bullied," he says. He contends that this can happen without promoting homosexuality.
Other pro-family groups agree. In a recent statement, the Family Research Council (frc.org) states, "If students are harassing their peers for any reason, the city should aggressively curb such behavior. But creating a school specifically for 'gay students' will only achieve unfortunate results: students who believe that they are destined to lead a life that is unhealthy and unnatural."
Knight also expresses concern over the people behind the creation of the school and its association with the homosexual youth advocacy group known as the Hetrick-Martin Institute. He raises some serious questions.
"In [New York City] homosexual activism has been a staple of life for years, and the Hetrick-Martin Institute is one of the prime outreaches to youth. But what they don't tell you is that one of the Institute's founders once described pedophilia as just another orientation that deserves as much respect as any other," he says.
Knight wonders how many parents would be willing to entrust their children to someone who came from such a background. He believes the Institute promotes homosexuality to confused youngsters, and suggests that authorities should be investigating Hetrick-Martin rather than giving them a school full of young people to influence.
The Family Research Council points out that numerous studies show that homosexual relations account for between 50% and 60% of all HIV/AIDS cases, in addition to fostering higher rates of depression, domestic violence, and drug abuse. The Council suggests that young people like those at HMS would be better served if, rather than encouraging the homosexual lifestyle, the city invested in programs that reach out to them with the truth -- that they can chan