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Pride and Prejudice: Teacher Autonomy and Parent Rights in the Incorporation of LGBTQ+ Studies in K–12 Education

By Ricardo Phipps

Abstract:

Censorship of books and other reading materials in K–12 schools is not a new phenomenon in the United States. A recent wave of interest around literary restrictions has extended to LGBTQ+ themed books, with parents and even politicians leading the charge. Concerns that parents are not respected as the moral authority for their children on sexual orientation and gender identity seem to drive decisions made by some school districts and even state legislatures. Teachers, librarians, and other school personnel argue that they are not trusted to offer classroom and cocurricular instruction about LGBTQ+ culture that is academic and age-appropriate. Furthermore, educators express concerns that curtailing the study of LGBTQ+ culture in schools can exacerbate the already harmful discriminatory attitudes toward students who identify as LGBTQ+. This article will explore arguments for and against the rights of K–12 teachers and librarians to use LGBTQ+ themed literature in their respective spheres and the implications for university-level teacher-education programs.

View the entire article here: "Pride and Prejudice: Teacher Autonomy and Parent Rights in the Incorporation of LGBTQ+ Studies in K–12 Education."

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