Many of us in the LGBTQ community here in the United States know how difficult it can be to come to terms with our sexuality in high school. In a 2013 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 61.6% of 7,898 students between the ages of 13 and 21 in the United States reported bullying in school, and school administration did nothing. 55.5% of LGBTQ students stated they felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and 38.7% because of their gender expression.
Through a partnership with Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland is launching The School of One: Solutions for Global Issues at the LGBT Center. Considered the first of its kind in the country, The School of One at the LGBT Center is a public school focused on LGBTQ+ students within an LGBT Center.
In an interview with News 5 Cleveland, DaJon Battle, program administrator with the district, explained how CMSD had no issues with The School of One:
“There was no pushback. Not from the board. Not from Mr. Eric Gordon (CMSD CEO). Not from a principal. I literally walked up to my principal one day and said ‘I would like to open up a School of One at the LGBT Center.’ And he was like, ‘okay.'”
The LGBT Center will also integrate their Queer Youth Initiative into parts of the school curriculum as class credit where appropriate in discussion with the teacher, according to the LGBT Center’s page on The School of One, and youth that has school at the Center can also go right into QYou programming after their school day is complete.