In light of the disturbing spate of suicides among gay and lesbian students in the US, one has to wonder if separate schooling should be considered in this case as well. In fact, there is a program, housed in one of Toronto's alternative schools, called Triangle. Here's how the school board's website describes it:
Unique in Canada, we offer academic and applied level programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (lgbtq) students who are able to work independently with some guidance. Our program covers lgbtq history, literature, and issues as well as a lunch program, class field trips, access to lgbtq community events, and co-op education.
This program, then, provides the safe space for LGBT youth that is so sorely lacking in regular middle and secondary schools. Which is wonderful, but I find it sad that such a school should be necessary. The optimistic side of me believes that if anti-bullying education were taken seriously enough, started early enough, and were specific enough—if it included explicit discussion of words like "fag" and "queer" and "gay," and explanations of how and why they are used as slurs—then separate LGBT schools would not be needed. But I'm enough of a realist to know that this is not likely to happen anytime soon. In the meantime, programs like Triangle—in fact, whole schools—should be set up across North America as options for LGBT kids. If they prevent even one teen suicide, they will have been worth it.