The Right to be Out: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in America’s Public Schools


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Although I cannot speak to the quality of Biegel's use of the many legal cases and decisions he discusses as this is beyond my knowledge, his discussion of these cases is detailed sometimes too detailed and has the potential to help readers understand the issues at play in this messy transitional stage of LGBT rights in public schools.

Biegel makes a valiant attempt to make accessible to readers complicated issues such as the differences between court cases based on First Amendment issues versus cases based on Fourteenth Amendment issues. His discussions in these four chapters attempt to identify issues of equity related to sexual identity and gender expression that are relevant to students, teachers, and administrators.

Unfortunately, the principles that he draws from these analyses too often get buried in the details of particular cases or in the analysis of technical legal issues. However, these chapters are made more readable by a useful mini-history of LGBT activism in American education, powerful examples of discrimination faced by LGBT students, cases that educators have faced, and useful principles for action that eventually emerge e.

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In the second section of the book, Biegel turns to issues of public policy related to implementing the right to be out. In these chapters, Biegel maintains a much better balance among the details of relevant legal cases, narrative details of actual examples, and principles that help to guide educators. Chapter 5 on addressing school climate starts slow but comes to a critical statement assessment of the work reviewed in chapters At a minimum, administrators, faculty, and staff should be familiar with what has transpired in recent LGBT-related litigation and should be cognizant of the fact that the courts are increasingly intolerant of actions or inactions by school officials that contribute to the mistreatment of LGBT youth.

Chapter 6 on creating change in the classroom includes a sensible and substantive discussion of various means to address sexual identity and gender expression in curriculum, illustrating what moving into the "reasonable middle ground" could entail in practice. This discussion is appropriately cautious given the legal battles that have arisen about LGBT issues in education.

However, I admit that I found the recommendations in this chapter a bit tepid even if they are realistic because I cannot imagine such tentative recommendations related to seeking equity in education for any other marginalized group. Also, the discussion of curricular innovations discussed in this chapter suffered a bit by not being more directly informed by queer theory.

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Even if it is sensible to counsel educators to move forward slowly, they should be informed and warned about the dangers of half measures e. Chapter 7 announces itself as about the culture of school sports and how it contributes to various forms of marginalization for LGBT students. However, after a brief discussion of this topic, the chapter focuses primarily the prejudices against LGBT people in sports contexts beyond K school settings.

Despite the slightly misleading title, this chapter mounts a bold challenge of organized sports that identifies several relevant issues. Chapter 8 about the challenges faced by transgendered youth is, by far, the best in the book. The brief concluding section is a bit odd in that its primary focus is an argument based on a number of concrete examples that out LGBT politicians have clearer positions of power than closeted ones.

A summary of the legal issues and principles for action would likely be more relevant for most readers. In summary, I am happy to have read this book. It is an important introduction to a number of issues.

I suspect that the first four chapters will be useful only for those who are very interested in the legal issues faced by LGBT people in public schools or for those who find themselves thrust into a situation in which those legal issues must be addressed. In contrast, chapters address issues about which any educator or administrator needs to be informed. Sep 02, Adam Armstrong rated it really liked it. In doing so, he combines realistic thought processes and the legal context in which to base his arguments. Beigel begins by saying that LGBT is the new, and perhaps final, frontier of civil rights.

He suggests a strong parallel between the movements of African Americans less than a century ago and the current movements for gay culture now, with much of the same angry backlash from those who do not support such a move for social freedoms. The text is like reading a history book of the gay movement, as told primarily in Part I through the court cases and circumstances surrounding each step the movement has taken into legitimacy. The strongest defense can be found in the First and Fourteenth Amendments, which judge freedom of character and the Due-Process Clause.

Influential policy-defining cases like Tinker v. Biegel uses his research to argue that an individual who comes out of the closet, as it is known, does so only at great conflict within themselves and from the people around them.

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After listing each important court case, it goes on in Part II to suggest ways in which school faculty can facilitate a positive atmosphere for all students, with particular emphasis on how to protect the rights of LGBT students to be able to learn free of harassment. Excepts from this book, in whole or in part, should be mandatory reading for students in the education field or educators during equality training programs. The insight into recognizing teenagers at risk for discrimination, as well as how to treat students with equality, is an unmatched lesson of ethics that this book attempts to provide.

Biegel strongly addresses the effects of bullying, not just on the LGBT community but also on socially shunned teens of all types. He defines that lasting repercussions bullying has on not only the victim, who may fall down the path to violence, but also the teacher whose career suffers if he is the one who supervises the class in which the violent incident occurs, as well as the unforeseen aspects, such as in the case of the student who shot Lawrence King.

The Right to Be Out: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in America's Public Schools [Stuart Biegel] on linawycatuzy.gq *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Editorial Reviews. Review. "The Right to Be Out is a thorough, timely, and relevant contribution Buy The Right to be Out: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in America's Public Schools: Read 2 Kindle Store Reviews The Right to be Out: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in America's Public Schools by.

He heightens the cause-effect relationship that, if left to its devices, a simple, even seemingly harmless, act of bullying can lead to drastic consequences for those directly and indirectly involved. Biegel also tackles the stigma of being out in the athletic world, when coaches at even the youngest levels would encourage their players to "stop being a sissy", or "don't run like a fag".

This, in turn, became engrained in the minds of the children that being gay was wrong. He even underlines the complexity of what it means to be a transgender individual, and how even some members in the gay community do not feel comfortable with transgender people.

This book is great for teachers and school administrators who wish to educate themselves on the proper handling of such a sensitive topic in the school environment. This book can also be a supplementary guide for students studying law, as it clearly spells out exactly how each case relates to legal establishments such as the first and fourteenth amendments, as well as how judges, attorneys and prosecutors argued their cases, what evidence they cited, and the basis for how the courts came up with their final rulings. Feb 07, Oswald rated it liked it. This book was not what I expected.

The author gauges the present status of the LGBT community through court cases. Although that is definitely relevant, I expected other sources in which to gauge the status of the community.

The Right to Be Out — University of Minnesota Press

Amendments 1 and 14 are heavily used by all of these court cases to explain how the LGBT community has the right to be out and deserve equal treatment under the law. Ultimately, the LGBT community should be able to enjoy the freedoms of speech, press, and assembly and trace This book was not what I expected.

Ultimately, the LGBT community should be able to enjoy the freedoms of speech, press, and assembly and trace their antecedent discrimination to the limitation of those freedoms. This also set the stage for members of the LGBT community to be able to be out in a public setting without fear of a criminal penalty. Quotes "A district 'hires' a teacher's speech. Jan 15, J. The major topics are legal precedent and professional development. This isn't a "read cover to cover" book.

Excellently written, and thoughtful. The chapter on legal precedent for student equality and protection for children in the school environment is particularly good.

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A must have for any educator, whether they be in K or beyond. Oct 29, Kristen Chmielewski rated it liked it. Very important topic, discussed in a rather disjointed manner.

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The chapter on sports is the most compelling in the book. Gabrielle Ancheta rated it really liked it Mar 27, Jamie rated it liked it Nov 25, Biegel breaks new ground in framing the right to be out as a nexus between civil rights and civil liberties; an invaluable analysis of law and educational policy for anyone who might dare to envision a school—or a society—that is truly safe, free and fair for every member of the community.

An indispensible resource for educators, public school administrators, and other professionals involved with legal and administrative issues in K education. School counselors and parents of LGBT youth will also find valuable information and resources. The book does assemble and explain the important LGBT cases, and together with its extensive endnotes it can serve as a manual for school administrators, counselors, or researchers. He expertly interweaves legal precedent with insight about larger shifts within school environments and curriculum, giving not only a solid basis for understanding the issues, but also a strong starting point for those attempting to work toward a reasonable middle ground within an educational setting.

There is still a long way to go in advocating for LGBT rights in schools and society at large.

The Right to Be Out

Thus, educators who speak out on behalf of LGBT persons in educational settings should be thick-skinned and prepared to hold their own by having an awareness of the legal history of the area. Educators, including counselors, must continue to work toward the middle ground. A timely and excellent handbook that should be on the office shelves of every principal in this country. The Right to Be Out can be read as a reference manual for public school employees. The book brings together an impressive array of legal cases and precedents, actual examples of contesting LGBT identities in public school settings, and principles that would be helpful for students, teachers and administrators who are concerned about changing the culture of education that continues to marginalize those who are seen as having non-normative sexual and gender non-conforming identities.

In an era where individual states and federal courts are grappling with gay and trans rights on a number of fronts, The Right To Be Out is an opportune addition to the growing body of literature documenting an historic shift in American law and culture.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in America’s Public Schools, Second Edition

In the introduction to the book, Biegel clearly invokes an essentialist position when he sets out the basic premise of exploring the right to be out as a necessity for LGBT and other Americans to live their lives fully and openly. After listing each important court case, it goes on in Part II to suggest ways in which school faculty can facilitate a positive atmosphere for all students, with particular emphasis on how to protect the rights of LGBT students to be able to learn free of harassment. Thanks for telling us about the problem. The brief concluding section is a bit odd in that its primary focus is an argument based on a number of concrete examples that out LGBT politicians have clearer positions of power than closeted ones. Very important topic, discussed in a rather disjointed manner. Indeed, I argue that a range of strategies are necessary to challenge the kinds of oppression that LGBT people face, and there are good times to single out sexual identity as a problematized position.

This is a well-written and balanced book. The book can be part of a respectful and thoughtful exchange of beliefs that lead to practices of inclusion and acceptance of gay, lesbian, and transgendered youth and teachers. A piece of careful scholarship that interrogates the relationship between the individual and society in a nuanced way.

The Emergence of the Right to Be Out 1. The Impact of Litigation and Legislation 3.

Curriculum, Religion, Morality, and Values. Implementing the Right to Be Out 5. Goals and Best Practices 6. Creating Change in the Classroom: The Culture of School Sports: From Physical Education to Interscholastic Athletics 8. Confronting the Challenges Faced by Transgender Youth.

Marriage Equality and Its Aftermath 3. The Impact of Litigation and Legislation 4.