Chicago plans school for gay students
The head of Chicago's school system has proposed the creation of a "gay-friendly" high school to counter the high bullying, depression and drop-out rates among homosexual pupils.
Last Updated: 1:54PM BST 10 Oct 2008
Bill Greaves, Chicago city's liason officer said it was important that gay and lesbian historical figures were highlighted to give young gay people positive, successful role models Photo: PA
The Pride Campus of Social Justice High School would be open to all students in the city, and would probably end up being "majority straight", said Arne Duncan, the head of Chicago Public Schools.
But it would provide a supportive atmosphere for gay pupils, using prominent gays and lesbians - including James Baldwin and Gertrude Stein - in its curriculum.
Bill Greaves, the city's liason officer on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, said the school would "make sure these people are not invisible in history".
He said it was important that gay and lesbian historical figures were highlighted to give young gay people positive, successful role models.
The proposals were supported by most of the 50 Chicago residents who attended a public meeting on the city's education. They will be voted on by the Chicago board of education on October 22.
If approved, the Pride Campus would be unlikely to open until 2010 and would teach 600 students.
The scheme has already been tried elsewhere, with the Alliance High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which considers itself "gay friendly" and has 125 students.