Media outlets have propagated news about teen suicides resulting from bullying and harassment because of perceived or identified sexual orientation and gender identity. However, the issues of bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity are rarely addressed at the elementary school level because of limited resources, little training, and low incidences of such reported events.
The purpose of this study was to explore the attitudes and knowledge of elementary school principals in one Southern California school district regarding LGBTQ-related issues and to identify the requirements principals deem necessary in order to create a safe learning environment for LGBTQ students. The study relied on two sources of data, including a survey and individual interviews. After data was gathered, it was analyzed to determine common themes among participants.
Three major themes emerged from the qualitative study that connected principals' experiences and attitudes regarding the integration of LGBTQ topics in the school curriculum and LGBTQ bullying at the elementary school level. The themes included a) affirmative views that personal backgrounds influenced attitudes regarding LGBTQ issues, (b) adequate or sufficient education not provided for principals at the school district level, and (c) elementary school environments were not safe learning environments for students who identify as or are perceived to be LGBTQ.
Based on the findings of this qualitative study, three recommendations were made to assist principals in their efforts to create safe learning environments for LGBTQ elementary school students and to integrate LGBTQ topics into the classroom. These recommendations included, (a) provide elementary school principals with professional development opportunities on LGBTQ topics, (b) educate parents on LGBTQ issues, and (c) include information on LGBTQ bullying and harassment in school discipline policies and safe schools plans.
Elementary school principals are not provided with sufficient professional development and resources to address the issues of bullying of LGBTQ students or the integration of LGBTQ topics into the instructional program. This study contributed to the extant body of literature that exists to support school leaders in providing LGBTQ students with safe learning environments and information on the integration of LGBTQ related topics into the school curriculum.
|Commitee:||Chiasson, Judy, Ketchum, Karyl|
|School:||California State University, Fullerton|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Education Policy, GLBT Studies, School administration, Elementary education|
|Keywords:||Issue knowledge, Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ), Principals|
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