First public gay high school to open in NYC
July 29, 2003 Posted: 2:46 AM EDT (0646 GMT)
Milk High School will open in this newly renovated New York City building in the fall.
YORK (AP) -- New York City is creating the nation's first public high school for gays, bisexuals and transgender students.
Harvey Milk High School will enroll about 100 students and open in a newly renovated building in the fall. It is named after San Francisco's first openly gay city supervisor, who was assassinated in 1978.
think everybody feels that it's a good idea because some of the kids who are gays and lesbians have been constantly harassed and beaten in other schools," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday. "It lets them get an education without having to worry."
school is an expansion of a two-classroom public school program that began in 1984. A gay-rights youth advocacy group, the Hetrick-Martin Institute, has managed and financed the program since its inception.
new school's principal, William Salzman, said the school will be academically challenging and will follow mandatory English and math programs. It also will specialize in computer technology, arts and culinary arts.
Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long criticized the creation of the school.
there a different way to teach homosexuals? Is there gay math? This is wrong," Long said. "There's no reason these children should be treated separately."
Hetrick-Martin Institute's Web site says the school will give its students "an opportunity to obtain a secondary education in a safe and supportive environment. ... We believe that success requires the ability to respect and value the diverse human community."