In addition to the “mainstream media” I also read the website for Xtra!, which describes itself as “Canada’s Gay and Lesbian News, among others. Every so often, something interesting comes up there, such as an item from today that elicited the comment in the title. The Toronto District School Board is launching a study on the question of whether they should have what they are describing as a “queer-centric” high school. This they define as a school where LBGT teachers and students wouldn’t have to worry about bullying and other problems. As the TDSB sees it, this would be modelled on the “Afric-centric” high school started last year. In that case a portion of an existing high school was set aside. I saw a news report earlier this month that said the “Afric-centric” high school had six students enrolled.
I have problems with this, in fact with both of these ideas for various reasons. One reason is that the TDSB is once again wasting money on a needless study. Last spring, after much debate in Queen’s Park (Ontario’s government) an Act was passed calling for GSAs (Gay-Straight Alliances) in all Ontario schools, including Catholic schools. Considering this, which is supposed to be safe haven for LGBT students, is now required in schools, why would the Toronto Board feel they should have separate schools?
That brings me to my main point of contention with both the “Afric-centric” and “queer-centric” schools. I went to school in Ontario starting in the 1950’s. Granted memory fades, but I don’t ever recall a time when Toronto schools weren’t integrated. Now, with the “Afric-centric” and these “queer-centric” schools, it appears the TDSB is trying to introduce segregated schools. Makes me wonder if this is 2012, or 1912.
Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.
(To answer the question: yes, the avatar is really me. It’s from a modelling shoot I did in May)