Friday, August 1, 2008

Going Public in Public School

(Photo courtesy Kate Lacey, The Village Voice)
On the heels of news about a victory for a gay-straight alliance (GSA) club in Florida this week, The Village Voice is profiling an "out" high school principal in Brooklyn, New York. Meet Michael Soet.

Standing in sharp contrast to the incident that occured in Columbia, South Carolina where the principle resigned rather than even preside at a school with a GSA, Principal Soet's bosses are just fine with him. It's one thing to have out GLBT students, quite another step forward to have an openly gay principal.

Says The Village Voice: "When Mr. Michael first decided to come out to his history students at Manhattan International High School several years ago, he wasn't sure what to expect. The city's international high schools cater exclusively to recent immigrants—students who have been in the U.S. for fewer than four years—and many of the kids come from countries where homosexuality is persecuted or illegal. Mr. Michael knew that most of them had never met someone who was openly gay and resolved that he would give his students the opportunity to have a serious conversation about his sexuality..."

And to think some schools still are having issues with GSAs or childrens' books about gay penguins! PFLAG continues to work for schools that are safe for all students...and where teachers and administrators can be themselves, too!

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