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    Posted August 1, 2014 by
    ShirleyHall
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Sound off

    Separate But Equal Again?

     
    Oklahoma (Tulsa) is opening a school for LGBT students. Although it is great they will have a safe place to attend (with people who are "like" them) It seems we are back to "separate but (try to be) equal" which we know does not work. Their website reads "The Alliance school is a place where it is okay to be Gay, Straight, Goth, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Native American, Asian, White, Black or just plain Unique!".
    I feel the city has reached a sad place when they can't control bullying and LGBT teen suicide. Their answer is to bus these kids from communities all over to a special school just for LGBT or Unique students. Are these students who "think" they are Lesbian or Gay, or students who are "sure" they are gay? Are these students the school counselor has tagged as LGBT? Students whose parents think their child might be LGBT? And what exactly makes a student "Unique"? Their race, religion, culture, height, weight, financial status, home life?
    Learning to live with people who are different from you is key in this global society. Will it establish a mindset of "I am different so I must be separated from others". I believe we have heard this before. Years of hard work has been spent socializing handicapped students into the general populace. Do we pull them out and open a school just for them?
    I think it is sad and brings back memories of public school segregation. In view of the latest "successes" in LGBT rights is this going backwards? Straight students will someday be straight adults and they need to learn to live comfortably with LGBT adults. Likewise, LGBT students will someday be LGBT adults and living separate through the teen years isn't preparing them for real life. Once again the bible belt places the bible above equality. Yes, it would be great to attend a school with no bullying, no fighting, no gangs, no real world social challenges. It would be great to feel safe in an environment that totally accepts you, but what in truth have you gained. Six black students integrated a all white southern school in Mississippi and none of them committed suicide despite bullying that went a lot further than it does today.
    Rather than separate the LGBT or Unique students, counselors, principals, teachers, coaches, school bus drivers and security teams need to step up and do their jobs. Yes! It's their job to protect students and establish a safe environment for learning.
    Maybe I'm missing the point. I'm speaking as a minority who saw first hand the downfall of separate but equal. I've seen the results of separate but equal primary and secondary education in college and university students, in adults I have managed and supervised, in gated neighborhoods and subdivisions. It doesn't work. Education is so much more than reading, writing, arithmetic and technology.
    Read more about Tulsa's latest introduction to public education. http://kfor.com/2014/05/21/group-to-open-lgbt-school-in-oklahoma/

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