A transgender woman, who identifies as a male, will open a private school for homosexuals and transgenders in Georgia this September.
The "Pride School Atlanta" will teach children K-12 [kindergarten up to 12th grade] and will operate from a space provided by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta (UUCA).
According to its website, the school aims "to provide LGBTQQIAA [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Ally, and Asexual] students, families and educators a safe, fun and rigorous learning environment free of homophobia [dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people] and transphobia [intense dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people] —a place that honors their identities so they can be themselves, find themselves, and find friends and mentors who can help them navigate the challenges of life and education."
Christian Zsilavetz, 45, school founder, said she never felt support while teaching as a male in public schools so she decided to put up her own school where children could be open about their homosexuality or gender identity.
"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?' This is a place where they can just open up and be the best person they can be," Zsilavetz told the Associated Press.
She said the school aims to 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.
The school promotes that "all students will have the freedom, responsibility, and support to create their own individualised curriculum, education, and school climate through trust and democratic decision-making processes."
The establishment also does not believe homework or tests are necessary. Its website states that there will be "no mandatory homework or testing. Students are free to discover what, when and how they prefer to learn, trusted that their natural curiosity and desire to pursue personal goals will lead them to a rigorous and rich education."