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The Right to Be Out: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in America's Public Schoolsby Stuart Biegel
Synopses & Reviews
Despite significant advances for gay and transgender persons in the United States, the public school environment remains daunting, even frightening, as evidenced by numerous high-profile incidents of discrimination, bullying, violence, and suicide. Yet efforts to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students and educators, or to enhance curricula to better reflect the experience of differing sexual orientations and gender identities, are bitterly opposed in the courtroom, at the ballot box, and especially in the schools themselves.
The Right to Be Out begins with a cogent history and analysis of the dramatic legal developments concerning the rights of LGBT persons since 1968. Stuart Biegel then turns to what K-12 schools should do-and in many cases have already done-to implement right-to-be-out policies. He examines recent legal and public policy changes that affect LGBT students and educators in the K-12 public school system.
Underlying all of these issues, he shows, is an implicit tension about the right to be out, a right that is seen as fundamental within LGBT communities today and, legally, draws on both the First Amendment right to express an identity and the Fourteenth Amendment right to be treated equally. Biegel addresses the implications of asserting and protecting this right within the hotly contested terrain of America's public schools.
This book is a valuable resource for K-12 school administrators, parents, teacher organizations, mental health professionals and school counselors, LGBT advocacy groups, and the legal community. A safe and supportive educational environment for all students is possible, Biegel concludes, if built on shared values and a belief in the strength of our pluralistic society.
Book News Annotation:
In a book made especially timely by the recent suicides of several students who were gay (or perceived as gay), Beigel (law and education & information studies, UCLA) examines the problem of homophobia in US public schools. In clear and accessible language, the author examines the legal underpinnings of the right of gay students and teachers to be treated with dignity, and looks at school districts that have successfully implemented policies to protect that right in an educational context. Beigel also lays out, often graphically, the problems and dangers faced by gay students in particular, even in places (such as California) that are thought to be "gay-friendly." Particularly useful for educators, counselors, and members of the legal and advocacy communities, this book will also be of great interest to any reader concerned with equal access to education. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Recognizing the right of LGBT students and educators to be out at school.
Recognizing the right of LGBT students and educators to be out at school, Biegel explores what K12 schools should do--and in many cases have already done--to implement right-to-be-out policies. He examines recent legal and public policy changes that affect LGBT students and educators in the K12 public school system.
About the Author
Stuart Biegel is a member of both the law and education faculties at UCLA. He is the author of Beyond Our Control? Confronting the Limits of Our Legal System in the Age of Cyberspace and Education and the Law. He has also served as director of teacher education and special counsel for the California Department of Education.
Table of Contents
Part I. The Law: The Emergence of the Right to Be Out
1. The Legal Foundations of the Right to Be Out
2. Emerging Rights of LGBT Students: The Impact of Litigation and Legislation
3. Challenges for LGBT Educators: The Tension between Rights on Paper and the Realities of the Classroom
4. Curriculum, Religion, Morality, and Values
Part II. Public Policy: Implementing the Right to Be Out
5. Addressing School Climate: Goals and Best Practices
6. Creating Change in the Classroom: Curriculum, Pedagogy, and LGBT Content
7. The Culture of School Sports: From Physical Education to Interscholastic Athletics
8. Confronting the Challenges Faced by Transgender Youth
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