The first known online high school for gay and lesbian students in the United States is set to open in January, reports the Pioneer Press .
Officials with the GLBTQ Online High School, based in Maplewood, Minn., are currently sorting through student and faculty applications from all over the country.
GLBTQ Online High School is the brainchild of David Glick, the first online learning coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Education. The school will cater specifically to gay, bisexual, and transgender students (although students of any age and sexuality can enroll), using a GLBTQ-friendly curriculum focused on “abolishing negative messages and highlighting gay, bisexual, and transgender people in history.”
“We may not bring people closer physically—but we will in every other way,” Glick said. “We want to make them feel more confident about who they are.”
While GLBTQ Online High School hopes to place students in a “safe and welcoming educational community” instead of a potentially intimidating school environment, some fear the school will only further their separation from society.
“The danger of the online high school is that kids will stay isolated and feel uncared for,” said David Johnson, a social-psychology professor at the University of Minnesota. “It would be much better to have these kids in a regular high school.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.