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LGBT Youth in America's Schools

Jason Cianciotto

Publication Year: 2012

Jason Cianciotto and Sean Cahill, experts on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender public policy advocacy, combine an accessible review of social science research with analyses of school practices and local, state, and federal laws that affect LGBT students. In addition, portraits of LGBT youth and their experiences with discrimination at school bring human faces to the issues the authors discuss. This is an essential guide for teachers, school administrators, guidance counselors, and social workers interacting with students on a daily basis; school board members and officials determining school policy; nonprofit advocates and providers of social services to youth; and academic scholars, graduate students, and researchers training the next generation of school administrators and informing future policy and practice.

Published by: University of Michigan Press


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pp. c-ii

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-viii


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pp. ix-x

Section 1 | A Comprehensive Review of Social Science Research on LGBT Youth and Their Experiences in School

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pp. 3-8

From controversy over bringing a same-sex date to the prom to incidents of harassment and violence, every school year brings new headlines about the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth in America’s classrooms. In September 2010, unprecedented national...

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1 | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth: A Critical Population

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pp. 9-35

Conducting research on the experiences of LGBT youth, the harassment and violence they endure, and the effects of this abuse on their mental health, physical health, and educational performance is fraught with technical challenges. A number of problems, including a lack of funding...

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2 | A Grave Picture of Harassment and Violence in Schools

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pp. 36-56

This is but one striking example of the epidemic of anti-LGBT harassment and violence in American schools. Numerous studies have documented pervasive harassment and violence perpetrated by students, and even some school faculty and staff, against students from elementary...

Section 2 | A Comprehensive Review of School-Based Practices and Federal, State, and Local Laws and Policies That Affect LGBT Students

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3 | Federal, State, and Local Policy Interventions

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pp. 59-82

In response to the need to protect youth in schools, some students, parents, teachers, and administrators are creating ways to protect and support LGBT students. Interventions include gay-straight alliances, nondiscrimination policies, safe schools programs, and curricula designed...

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4 | School-Based Programs and Practices

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pp. 83-108

In a 1991 study of 289 school counselors, one in ‹ve reported that counseling adolescent lesbian or gay students was or would be gratifying. An almost equal number reported just the opposite. Seventy-one percent reported having counseled at least one lesbian or gay student, although...

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5 | The No Child Left Behind Act and LGBT Students

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pp. 109-132

President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB Act) in front of a cheering crowd of high school students in Hamilton, Ohio, on January 8, 2002.2 A complex and comprehensive package of policies reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of...

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6 | Sex Education, Abstinence-Only Programs, and HIV Prevention

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pp. 133-142

Closely linked to political struggles over how to treat lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in schools are controversies related to sex education and HIV prevention. From the early 1980s until 2009, the federal government funded abstinence-only programs, many of which taught...

Section 3 | A Research Agenda to Guide and Inform Future Policy

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7 | Political and Methodological Issues Affecting Research on LGBT Youth

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pp. 145-154

The collection and analysis of data on the lives and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth have enabled researchers and policymakers to begin addressing the needs of this diverse population. Questions about sexual identity, behavior, and attraction have been...

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8 | The Need for Research on Understudied LGBT Populations

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pp. 155-172

The lack of research on the school experiences of a number of understudied populations—including lesbian and transgender youth of color; immigrant lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth; LGBT youth who live in rural school districts; and transgender and gender-nonconforming...

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9 | Conclusion and Policy Recommendations: Making It Better for LGBT Students

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pp. 173-180

President Barack Obama delivered his 2010 back-to-school speech to a crowd of cheering students at the Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School in Philadelphia on September 14. Less than a week earlier, ‹fteen-year-old Billy Lucas took his own life after...


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pp. 181-202


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pp. 203-226

Further Reading

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pp. 227-228

Case Law Citations

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pp. 229-230


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pp. 231-236

E-ISBN-13: 9780472028320
E-ISBN-10: 0472028324
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472031405
Print-ISBN-10: 0472118226

Page Count: 280
Illustrations: 1 table, 1 figure
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 797328376
MUSE Marc Record: Download for LGBT Youth in America's Schools

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Transgender youth -- Education -- United States.
  • Sexual minorities -- Education.
  • Homosexuality and education -- United States.
  • Gay students -- United States.
  • Bisexual students -- United States.
  • Lesbian students -- United States.
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