Is An LGBT School What Britain Really Needs?

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Manchester could be the home of the first school in Britain for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people. The school, which could possibly open its doors within the next couple of years, plans to take on 40 full-time students from across the Manchester area and will offer 20 part-time places for those who wish to continue attending mainstream school.

The school is being set up to combat the bullying that LGBT youth suffer in today’s mainstream schools, giving them a safe haven to study, work and play. Whilst I support the idea, I certainly disapprove of the fact that the youths who could attend this new school will be doing so to avoid the rest of their peers through fear of being rejected, bullied and outcast.

Amelia Lee, strategic director for LGBT Youth North West, said in a recent article in The Guardian, “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.”

Shouldn’t both we and the government being discouraging bullying as much as we can, rather than effectively pushing away the LGBT youth into a separate community, just so they can lead a normal life?

In many countries around the world, especially in the US were many states now accept gay marriage, we still see a large amount of young and old members of the LGBT community being ostracised from society, it needn’t be that way. Creating separate schools and areas shouldn’t have to be an answer to any problem in the 21st century.

Some parents, teachers and other peers may have the view that bullying ‘is part of a child’s life growing up’ or ‘it’s a phase’, but is that the reason you’re going to give when a young person takes their own life because they feel unaccepted just because they identify as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered youth? We should be accepting of everyone, no matter who they decide to fall in love with, and all children should be taught this basic kind of respect in schools. Schools for everyone!

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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