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Issues Affecting LGBTQ Adolescents

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Issues affecting LGBTQ Adolescents Wyatt et al. (2008) found that teacher preparation needs to include study of specific issues related to sexual minority students in order to ensure a great understanding of the challenges these student face” (p. 181). While this research was published in 2008, it is still very unlikely that many education courses have embraced this topic as many still are struggling to embrace topics of diversity itself (Angus & de Oliveria, 2012). Therefore, it is likely that many educators are still coming into the field with little knowledge of the challenges and issues these students are facing.
In “Creative Approaches to Serving LGBTQ Youth in Schools,” Frank and Cannon (2009) provide multiple recommendations to school
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2). As sexual minority students progress throughout their K-12 careers they are exposed to negative attitudes, language, and further marginalization of their non-heterosexual identities (p. 4). Likewise, even in districts that do not explicitly prohibit sexual minority orientations in curricula, there is potential for myth and misinformation to percolate (p. 4). Further, given that an estimated 10% of the school age population will potential grow up to identify as a sexual minority individual, there is grave potential harm to these students when a negative school climate towards LGBT orientations is fostered (p.…show more content…
In a study of school factors and safety of sexual minority adolescents, Goodenow, Szalacha, Westheimer (2006) found:
Sexual minority students were significantly more likely than others to report being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property, skip school because they felt unsafe, believe that there was no school adult they could talk to about a problem, experience dating violence, experience forced/coerced sexual contact, feel sad or hopeless for an extended period of time, make one or more past-year suicide attempts, and make a suicide attempt requiring medical attention (p. 578).
For these sexual minority adolescents, safety is an apparent concern and one for which the community of the school can impact in a myriad of ways. In many ways, it is of vital importance that the adolescent feels comfortable with school faculty and staff and recognize that they are there to offer support to them (Goodenow, Szalacha, Westheimer, 2006, p. 585). The next section will detail how, in the context of a classroom teacher, one could impact the lives of these adolescents and create a school environment that supports their developmental and educational
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