ATLANTA — A female teacher who identifies as a male is set to open a private school for homosexual and transgender youth in Georgia later this year.
The “Pride School of Atlanta” will teach children K-12 beginning in September, and will operate out of a Unitarian Universalist facility in the city. The first of its kind educational institution will cost $13,000 a year in tuition fees.
Founder Christian Zsilavetz, 45, says that she never felt support while teaching as a male in public schools, and decided to found her own school where children could be open about their homosexuality or transgender desires.
“Kids have full permission to be themselves—as well as educators—where there’s no wondering, ‘Is this teacher going to be a person for me to be myself with?’” she told the Associated Press. “This is a place where they can just open up and be the best person they can be.”
Zsilavetz also asserted that the school will reduce the risk of suicide, drug and alcohol use, and depression.
“They’re less likely to get pregnant, when they don’t really want to get pregnant,” she said.
Public reaction has been mixed.
“I must say, I think something like this will be good and bad,” one commenter wrote. “On one hand, these kids will be in a comfortable environment and can learn with less fear; on the other hand, I feel it will promote more discrimination.”
“A school for gay kindergartners?” another asked. “That’s all kids need. ‘Little Timmy, you’re going to this school because that one time we saw you playing with your sister’s Barbie. It’s ok to be yourself, little Timmy.’ What … would a kindergartner know about his or her sexuality? They shouldn’t even know what that means.”
“Attending a school like this will keep them from getting pregnant when they really don’t want to get pregnant? What on earth would the answer to that one be?” a third stated. “I simply cannot imagine…”