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ERIC Number: EJ1131941
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-1498
When Laws Solve Problems That Do Not Exist: Transgender Rights in the Nation's Schools
Corbat, Josh
High School Journal, v100 n2 p85-87 Win 2017
Time and again research has shown that schools in which students feel safe and included promote academic achievement and overall student health (see, for example, Greytak, Kosciw, Villenas, & Giga, 2016; Michael, Merlo, Basch, Wentzel, & Wechsler, 2015). Parent networks, community organizations, and school boards nationwide continuously espouse one common goal: to create the safe environments students deserve and to promote the academic, physical, and mental well-being of all members of educational communities. Although this is certainly an admirable goal, it is far from a reality. Michael and colleagues (2015) have shown, in a review of the pertinent literature, that school policies and directives must better align with this goal in order to establish and maintain safe school environments. For members of communities that are outside the mainstream culture and outside the now defunct gender dichotomy, these efforts are particularly important. North Carolina's House Bill 2 (HB2, also known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act) was passed in March of 2016 and immediately made national headlines. Simply put, HB2 made discrimination against the LGBT community legal in North Carolina, and is a setback to the movement for LGBT rights. This article argues that while, at face value, restricting bathroom rights of transgender students may not appear to diminish the safety of these students, requiring transgender students to use the bathroom contrary to their identity disrupts their feelings of inclusion and safety. In an insidious manner, these policies have reified a rhetoric that denying members of the LGBT community basic human rights is acceptable. The article calls researchers and scholars of education to actively work to reverse the rhetoric that has labeled LGBT students as a lower caste, and do all in their power to establish and maintain safe and inclusive school environments.
University of North Carolina Press. 116 South Boundary Street, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Tel: 800-848-6224; Tel: 919-966-7449; Fax: 919-962-2704; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Title IX Education Amendments 1972
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A