Awesome stories about QHigh in Republic. Repost!

School can be refuge

One n ten, a gay-youth social-service organization, has opened Q High, an alternative high school for students struggling in traditional learning environments, in downtown.

PDF Version

One n ten helps gay kids succeed in a safe place

By Maria Polletta

The Republic |

In 2ó years, Tyler has switched high schools six times.

The 16-year-old has faced repeated bullying and threats related to sexual orientation and masculine” clothing choices. Though Tyler could lean on a few supportive friends and staff members at previous schools, the Phoenix resident felt completely isolated at the most recent high school.

I was being bullied by one girl, which then turned into all of her friends and all of my friends also picking on me,” Tyler said. She kind of made me an outcast at school and threatened to beat me up. I didn’t really feel it was a safe environment.”

After a month of homeschooling, Tyler enrolled in Q High,” an alternative high school for students struggling in traditional learning environments. The school, 3660 N. Third St., is operated by a gay-youth social-service organization,

One n ten, and gives youth the ability to pursue their education free from bullying and harassment,” said One n ten Executive Director Linda Elliott.

Though Q High was designed with gay, bisexual and transgender teenagers in mind, students can enroll regardless of their sexual orientation as long as they’re ages 14 to 21 and have the appropriate credits.

We (One n ten) do surveys of our youth every year, andwefound that over 50 percent had dropped out of high school or had stopped going to school because they felt uncomfortable or bullied,” said One n ten deputy director Micheal Weakley. We saw a big need there.”

QHigh’s pilot semester began March 19. Ten students are enrolled, with maximum enrollment set at 25.

Though on-site volunteers and tutors are available to answer immediate questions, most students attend online classes remotely. Arizona Virtual Academy supplies students with free computers, and teachers are online 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

The majority work from home or from a public library, because they can’t get transportation every day, or they have family issues they need to tend to at home,” said programs manager and Q High director Stacey Jay Cavaliere. It is very self-guided, but in turn, they can do it on their own time and at their own pace.”

Tyler chooses to complete schoolwork on-site.

All the staff are really helpful and supportive in terms of making sure I do my best here,” Tyler said. There’s no bullying, no name-calling … and I feel very comfortable.”


PDF Version