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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

“Don’t Be So Gay!”

Queers, Bullying, and Making Schools Safe

Recent cases of teen suicide linked with homophobic bullying have thrust the issue of school safety into the national spotlight. In “Don’t Be So Gay!” Queers, Bullying, and Making Schools Safe, Donn Short considers the effectiveness of safe-school legislation. Drawing on interviews with queer youth and their allies in the Toronto area, Short concludes that current legislation is more responsive than proactive. Moreover, cultural influences and peer pressure may be more powerful than legislation in shaping the school environment. Exploring how students’ own experiences, ideas, and definitions of safety might be translated into policy reform, this book offers a fresh perspective on a hotly debated issue.

316 pages

Law and Society

Table of Contents

Participants: Schools, Students, and Teachers

1 Introduction: Navigating Safe and Equitable Schools

2 Safe Schools: The Struggle for Control and the Quest for Social Justice

3 How Schools Conceptualize Safety: Control, Security, Equity, Social Justice

4 Not Keeping a Straight Face: Heteronormativity and the Hidden Curriculum

5 Obstacles to the Implementation of Equity Policies

6 The Long Arm of the Law? Mapping (Other) Normative Orders in Youth Culture

7 Barriers to the Effectiveness of State Law

8 Conclusion




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