"We are not aliens, we're people, and we have rights." Canadian human rights discourse and high school climate for LGBTQ students.

Published: August 1, 2011

Abstract

Canadian law protects people from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, but our public schools do not fulfill their ethical and legal obligations where sexual and gender minority youth are concerned. This article reports on a national survey study on homophobia and transphobia in Canadian high schools. Participants (n = 3,607) were questioned about school climate, harassment, school attachment, and institutional interventions. We found that schools were neither safe nor respectful for sexual and gender minority students, and we argue that ongoing exposure to this situation undermines students’ respect for the Charter of Rights and their faith in adults.

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