Safety in our schools: strategies for responding to homophobia

Case Studies & Research
Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University
13 p.

Australian research about young people has found that schools can be very unsafe for students who are, or perceived to be, gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Research has also found that many teachers are reluctant to address issues to do with homosexuality, especially in relation to students. Like the rest of the community, school staff have a range of beliefs and concerns about homosexuality. Unlike the rest of the community, teachers work with many young people from diverse backgrounds representing different values, religious beliefs, and family expectations. When it comes to violence and harassment, individual or public beliefs and concerns about homosexuality are not the central issue. Rather, the issues are that some young people are experiencing persecution at school, feel frightened about attending school, and feel unable to get support. This booklet provides a summary of issues to help make schools safer for gay, lesbian and bisexual students and staff, so that they can participate and achieve in the full range of school programs and activities.

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