Recent events in the public arena have catapulted LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) issues into the media and everyday conversations. Meanwhile, many LGBT students struggle with school-based harassment, evidence higher rates of homelessness and suicide, and perceive their calls for help and support from school officials to be ineffective. This study examined related non-discrimination policies drawn from a volunteer sample of Minnesota public school district and their respective secondary school administrators. It focused on the presence of district-level policy with enumeration of LGBT as a protected class, the transference of policy statements into student-level documents, as well as the perceptions of school leaders regarding their LGBT student policies. Related literature within the frameworks of social norms, school culture, and policy was explored, and data were collected from telephone interviews and document reviews. First, the results from this study exposed that some districts lack the basic policy language as set forth in Minnesota legislation. Second, in some districts the results uncovered inadequate student-level policy statements misaligned to the district documents they presumably represented. Third, in this study some leaders’ perceptions suggested that they were seemingly unaware of what their current school organization afforded the LGBT student community in terms of protections and supports. Finally, a checklist is presented to leaders to aid in determining the current institutional policy status regarding their LGBT-related non-discrimination policies.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2016. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisor: Jean King. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 130 pages.
Implications of Policy on Inclusivity of LGBT Students: A Statewide Overview of Public School Districts.
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