GLN IN THE PRESS
Mayor Daley weights in on Pride Campus
By JESSICA PUPOVAC
Editor - Chicago Journal 10/23/2008 10:14:00 PM - LINK
Mayor Daley today expressed misgivings about a proposal before the Chicago Board of Education that would establish the city's first high school for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and their allies.
"You have to look at whether or not you isolate and segregate children," Daley said. "A holistic approach has always been to have children of all different backgrounds in schools."
Although the mayor does not have veto power over the proposal, he does appoint the school board members, who are scheduled to vote on the proposal next month.
The Pride Campus is one of 20 schools that Chicago schools CEO Arne Duncan has recommended this year as part of the Chicago Public Schools' Renaissance 2010 plan, which was spearheaded by Daley in 2004.
Chad Weiden, assistant principal at the Social Justice High School in Little Village, which proposed the school, says it would offer an inclusive curriculum that highlights role models in the LGBT and other minority communities.
According to Bill Greaves, LGBT liaison for the city of Chicago, the school would welcome all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or identity.
The mayor today expressed concern over the proposal being too "controversial."
At the most recent public hearing on the proposed school, held at the Center on Halsted on Oct. 8, all 25 audience members who registered testimony spoke in favor of the school.
Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation Network was one of them.
"It's better to have one school in the entire system being pro-gay than zero, which is what it is now," he told Booster following the mayor's comments. "If we were seeing initiatives coming out of this mayor tomorrow like showing the pro-gay film, It's Elementary, or junking this abstinence-only, anti-gay education and instituting a curriculum affirming LGBT students and other minorities, then the mayor's argument might have some credibility. But, absent that, he's caving into the right."