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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Beyond Bathrooms: The Principal’s Role as Social Justice Leader and Advocate for Inclusive Transgender Policies in Middle Schools
by Ernandes, Anna Marie, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2020, 191; 28001973
Abstract (Summary)

Transgender adults are a statistically disenfranchised group facing high incidents of suicide, homelessness, sexual assault, displacement from families, and ostracization from societal connectivity. However, most of the studies on transgender safety as a marginalized group pertain to adults, with little information on transgender students (those in a PreKindergarten-12th) grade school setting. Even less research has been conducted on students identifying as transgender in grades six through eight. During early adolescence teens are developing increased empathy for others and moving beyond their egocentric selves. Therefore, focusing on building universal access for all students in a six through eight educational setting (middle school) is critical towards creating inclusive adults. With the lack of federal guidelines and persistent evolution of laws pertaining to transgender rights particular to middle school-aged students, schools are now faced with meeting the needs of transgender students.

Therefore, a qualitative study of 12 middle school principals from different districts in Southern California was conducted. The focus of this study is on the principal’s role as a social justice leader for transgender middle school students. Implications from principal’s responses have yielded suggestions for change in district involvement, creation of universal policies, professional development suggestions, and considerations to inclusive curriculum. By promoting visibility of transgender students, it is possible to reduce bullying and promote supportive and inclusive adults.

Recommendations include forming a CCDI, Community Counsel for Diversity and Inclusion, which oversees and ensures inclusive practices for all marginalized groups. The second recommendation involves restructuring Board Policy to include a Gay- Straight Alliance on all middle school campuses. Final recommendations are presented as a conglomeration of general changes to practice and items for principals to consider.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Scott, James
Commitee: O'Brien, Jonathan, Licciardello, Richard
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: LGBTQ studies, Educational administration, Education Policy, Educational leadership, Curriculum development, Middle School education, Educational sociology, Gender studies
Keywords: Diverse curriculum, Inclusion, Principal perceptions, Transgender policy, Transgender students, Gender-neutral bathrooms in schools, Social justice leaders, Social justice advocate, Transgender adults, Suicide rates, Homelessness, Sexual assault, Displacement, Ostracization from society
Publication Number: 28001973
ISBN: 9798691282393
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