2010. 6 p.
The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 83 (3) 2010
Discrimination based on sexual orientation in K–12 education is not prohibited in many school districts across the United States. Teachers who are of the sexual minority (gay, lesbian, or bisexual) must remain closeted or risk losing their jobs. A history of past court decisions and laws deeming sexual minorities to be degenerates from which children should be protected, coupled with little legal protection for sexual minorities, have pressured many educators into remaining quiet about their identity. Here, we argue that the rationale of protecting children by allowing discrimination against sexual minorities is unfounded and does nothing more than continue the spread of homophobia and intolerance. Educational settings should be places of learning that foster inclusion and not places where some are ostracized for being different. Current legal proceedings offer hope for the curbing of this practice, but until more protection is offered to sexual minorities in K–12 education, they may still be at risk of losing their jobs or being harassed. Furthermore, forcing sexual minority teachers to assume a heterosexual identity deprives students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered of role models in the school setting.
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