Manchester is said to be the hosting ground for the first school in Britain for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. The LGBT school, speculated to be opening its doors within the next three years, plans to take 40 full-time students from across the area and will offer up to 20 part-time places for young people who want to continue attending a mainstream school.
The Youth Charity behind the suggestion for this LGBT School is called LGBT Youth North West. Amelia Lee, strategic director for the charity said, “This is about saving lives. Despite the laws that claim to protect gay people from homophobic bullying, the truth is that in schools especially, bullying is still incredibly common and causes young people to feel isolated and alienated, which often leads to truanting and, in the worst-case scenarios, to suicide.”
Would an LGBT school work?
The school aims to host LGBT students with a proven track of struggle or failure to cope in mainstream schools. However, the school is set to also be available for young parents and those with mental health problems.
The government is set to fund the school. One school year on the premises is set to cost £16,000, the same as other specialist schools. Lee has said that even this cost is saving other council services about £1.3m usually spent on early intervention and support for struggling children in mainstream schools.
“The school will have a gentle, supportive atmosphere. Its curriculum will be closely tailored to each child’s needs and incorporate academic work with youth-work techniques, such as building self-esteem and functional skills by working in the charity’s cafe or community garden,” she said. “It is about trying to develop something that helps people that need extra support.”
Uncertainty about Segregation
However, according to the Daily Mail, this move is not welcomed by everyone. Tory MP and former Education Minister Tim Loughton said, “I cannot see how segregating a group of young people identified by their sexuality can aid better engagement and understanding.”
He adds, “The way to achieve more integration, understanding and empathy is not by segregating members of one group. This would seem to me to be a step backwards from achieving tolerance.”
UKIP deputy leader and education spokesman Paul Nuttall also said to the Daily Mail, “This idea does nothing but foster division.” He adds, “Integration is the key to understanding, and it is utterly bizarre to be taking a step that highlights differences and adds nothing of value to a child’s education.’
Whether everyone agrees with the concept of this LGBT school or not, NoBullying firmly stands by the right of LGBT bullying for education without fear of homophobic bullying or gay bullying.
If you have a LGBT Teen, the following guides may come in handy: