What are the obligations educational institutions have to young people in the LGBTQ spectrum?

Let’s start with that acronym — LGBTQ.  It stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning.  There are also adjectives that can precede LGBTQ, such as “Of color,” Black, African American, Asian, Hispanic, Disabled, etc., all of which create their own little sub groups within the LGBTQ group, which is itself composed of particulate matters.

All of you know that, being libertarian, I don’t care what relationships people form in their personal lives.  Having said that, Robert Lopez makes a good argument that the obligations we have to our children transcend our personal search for happiness, including love and sexual fulfillment.

I don’t believe in gay marriage, but that’s only because I believe it will lead inevitably to the type of clash between church and state that we’re seeing in England.  And no, I don’t see the First Amendment protecting religions from attacks by LGBTQ people who insist that a church must ignore its own doctrine and marry them.  We’ve already seen from the ObamaCare mandate regarding contraception and abortifacients that Leftists couldn’t care less about the First when it comes to protecting actual religions (which was the Founders’ goal), rather than protecting Leftists from religion.  I’m fine with civil unions, however, because I think the state can make whatever decisions it wants, even if they prove later to be stupid.

I’m also sympathetic to people whose external appearance is at odds with their self-identity.  I believe that hormones and other brain chemicals play a strong part in sexual identity and desire, and we all know that nature makes mistakes.  (Believe it or not, I was supposed to look like Heidi Klum.  Nature really messed up there….)

Lastly, I’m fully aware that LGBTQ people have higher rates of bad things such as drug abuse, alcoholism, depression, suicide, and spousal abuse.  I’m prepared to believe that some of these problems in childhood lead people to identify as LGBTQ; that some people are so terribly discriminated against because they are LGBTQ that they end up with self-destructive behaviors; and that there is something fundamentally unhealthy inthe urban LGBTQ lifestyle that leads people into self-destructive behaviors.

So we’ve established that I’m cool with people’s private desires, that I’m okay with civil unions, that I recognize that biology can treat people cruelly, and that I acknowledge a multiplicity of possible factors behind LGBTQ dysfunctions.  None of those factors, however, lead me to believe that our educational institutions have some overriding duty to serve all the needs of the LGBTQ community, or all of its racial or differently-abled subsets.  The LGBTQ community, though, does think that it’s owed this stuff and it believes further that our educational institutions, despite the university diversity staffs that can be bigger than the rest of school administrations put together, is failing to make the community feel good about itself:

Not only do queer youth of color deal with life-altering issues, says a new UCLA study, but schools and institutions are not adequately addressing their needs.

“GBTQ youth of color struggle with homelessness, poverty, family rejection and bullying,” says Ilan H. Meyer, the study’s principal investigator and Williams Institute Senior Scholar for Public Policy at UCLA, in a press release. “Yet, serious barriers exist to providing youth with culturally competent care.”

With a grant from Liberty Hill Foundation, Williams Institute researchers contacted L.A.-based education, medical, and social service providers, examining how the unique needs of queer youth of color are being met. What they found out wasn’t very good…

According to the study titled “Provider Perspectives on the Needs of Gay and Bisexual Male and Transgender Youth of Color,” various institutions are dropping the ball.

You can read the rest here.

I’m old-fashioned enough to have fairly limited expectations about educational institutions:  They should educate in an environment that doesn’t actively discriminate against people.  The facilities should be reasonably safe (no crumbling buildings, etc.), and the faculty should be good.  With younger students, the faculty should be attuned to obvious signs of abuse.  At the university level, it would be nice if the faculty was sensible enough to recognize troubling signs (drug use, extreme depression, anorexia, etc.), and kind enough to act on those observations, but I do not think that it should be a job requirement to have this awareness and decency, nor should the taxpayer have to fund administrations that function as social workers and psychiatrists.

Am I missing something?  Am I a societal sociopath or are the special interest groups in America demanding so much bath water that they’re killing the baby?  (And yes, that’s a fearsomely strained metaphor, but it takes me where I want to go.)

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  • Charles Martel

    “The unique needs of queer youth of color.”
    It’s gotten so that I can interpret this bull puckey in my sleep:
    “Unique needs” = How to get laid without any social disapproval and get the government to pay for the treating ensuing STDs or mental disorders.
    “Queer youth of color” = a two-fer victim-plus category. Not only is the youth in a forever-will-be-discriminated-against racial category (black, non-white Hispanic, Native American, Palestinian, Trobriand Islander), he/she is also located in a similar sexual category. This two-for-one state calls for ever more funding of ways—despite the hopelessness of ever running out of reasons for more funding—to ensure that queer youth of color never hear any mention of being something other than a victim.
    (When I was young, my unique needs as an oddball heterosexual centered on getting laid and getting adults to understand how profoundly profound my teen angst was. I did not achieve the former until late in adolescence. Where was my school-assisted pimp?)
    I have no doubt that many of the people expressing all this concern for queer yoots of color would jump onto their backs or into bed with them if given an opportunity.
    Not that there’s anything wrong with it. 

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Whatever happened to the obligation young people have to their parents, their community, and their nation?
    Oh right, that disappeared back when treason became prosperous.

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  • http://thoughtyoudneverask.blogspot.com/ zabrina

    A while back some earnest gay youths started attending our county school board meetings, agitating for the inclusion of language in official school publications and regulations regarding bullying. They seemed aggrieved that their specific subset of the school population wasn’t labeled specifically. General rules against bullying weren’t enough–they wanted rules against bullying GAYS, specifically called out and labeled in detail, as if they thought themselves a special class of human beings.
    What was the point of labeling them in the publications and rules, instead of just including them as “students” in the anti-bullying materials?
    It clearly wasn’t that they were interested in stopping bullying per se, or interested in bettering the school community as a whole; it was that they were entirely self-interested and had a partisan agenda supplied to them by one or another militant gay interest group, with all the usual leftist goals and methods for disrupting and balkanizing school proceedings by playing the tried and true victim/protest card.
    These kids are nurtured in these goals and methods by the LGBT clubs in the high schools, which draw in many straight kids as well, who want to be thought of as sympathetic, enlightened, rainbow-friendly allies of this victimized special class. It is cool to be gay, and gay-friendly these days. What the kids don’t seem to pick up on is the underlying political agenda they are unwittingly furthering. And they are not too concerned about the resulting social backlash against the kids who don’t care about or who don’t want to join in these groups or their partisan political activities.
    This is all a part of the ongoing debate between the group/mob/state (special interests seeking political power) and the individual (people who just want equal treatment and the freedom and protection to be left alone). You’d think that gays would want the latter, but the militant leftist ones don’t; they want to bully everyone else, and will use sexuality as a “diversity” cudgel, just like every other leftist interest group will, in the schools as well as everywhere else in society.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Two points of contention: I would also add as opposition to “gay marriage” the point (made by French gays, of all people) that society’s interest in marriage has to do with creating optimum conditions for nurturing the next generations. One of the things that struck me in the whole “gay marriage” debate is that nobody ever raised the issue, “what’s best for the children?”. Instead, it has all degenerated into an argument of “Gimme, gimme, gimme – where’s mine?”
    The idea that schools should even be getting involved in individuals’ sexual proclivities and practices is just one more sign of societal degeneration. 

  • jj

    Good point, Zabrina – and one with which I have difficulty sympathizing.  (Or even keeping a polite straight face when in the presence of.)  When dealing with a federally protected class the rules are different.  Evidently the standard prohibitions against murder aren’t enough, when it comes to these special species.  The generalized rules aren’t sufficient.  When they get murdered they are, after all, much deader than anyone else who does, so therefore merit a super special extra individualized mention, or singling out, in any book of rules or laws.  A gay kid who gets bashed in school is much more bashed than a similarly handled straight kid, simply by virtue of being gay.  A black broken arm is – if broken by white kids – much, much, much brokener than a white arm would be.  These are special crimes, deserving of special punishment.
    It works both ways, though.  Every time I get pulled over for speeding I tell the cop I’m an albino gay minority: it gets me off most of the time.