Challenging the sounds of silence: Gay-straight alliances and implications for school change.
Through the voices of students, teachers, and administrators, this paper explores the efficacy of one increasingly familiar safe school intervention Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA). Data from a qualitative research study that examined (a) the relationship between membership in a GSA and student functioning across various domains, and (b) GSA activities and school change efforts, highlights the ways in which safe school efforts and practices both facilitate and hinder systemic school change efforts. The paper emphasizes that systemic change efforts are greatly impeded by the imposition of boundaries on GSA activities that hinder their efforts to engage the wider school community in substantive discussions about the heteronormative organizational and interactional structures of school environments that continue to stigmatize sexual minority youth.
American Educational Research Association
Chenneville, T. & Mayberry, M. (2009, April). Challenging the sounds of silence: Gay-straight alliances and implications for school change. Roundtable discussion chaired at the Annual Convention of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, California.
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