According to the Pioneer Press in the Twin Cities, a new online high school will make it easier for GLBTQ students feel comfortable while working towards their diploma. The GLBTQ Online High School will open its doors in January 2010, becoming the first institution of its kind.
Up until this point there have been online high schools and brick and mortar GLBTQ high schools, but never an online school explicitly for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth.
The GLBTQ Online High School is based out of Maplewood, MN, and the idea was executed by David Glick, Minnesota’s first online coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Education. Glick created it after he saw that there was a need to reach out to young GLBTQ people who live in places where there are not a lot of other GLBTQ people to relate to or who live in a potentially hostile environment where they are not accepted.
Critics of the school say that it would further isolate teens who may already be at risk. Glick, however, believes otherwise. He said, “We may not bring people closer physically — but we will in every other way. We want to make them feel more confident about who they are.”
Curriculum at the school includes courses that meet national criteria, but also includes lesson plans that help to abolish negative messages about GLBTQ people. The school will also include courses that use online communication tools and highlight GLBTQ people in history, a subject matter that is glaringly absent from most public school education.
People of any sexual orientation can enroll, and there are programs in place to help teens come out to their families before applying. The school has already started accepting applications.
It's encouraging to see more educational options like this one that offer a safe leanring space for GLBTQ students. GLAAD will continue to monitor media coverage about the GLBTQ Online High School.