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Keywords

gender and sexual diversity, pre-service, in-service, sexual prejudice, multicultural teacher preparation, social justice allies

Abstract

An important role of schooling in the U.S. is to prepare students for engagement in the diverse world. This means that education personnel must be aware of, acknowledge, and respect all dimensions of diversity, including gender and sexual diversity. Relatedly is the teacher's role in managing a safe and inclusive classroom climate for all students. Since school bullies frequently target gender and sexually diverse (GSD) students, K-12 teachers are required to manage their classroom culture so that bullying behavior toward all students, including GSD students, is stopped. GSD students who are bullied frequently miss school, earn lower grades, and may decide not to complete post-secondary education. The effects of bullying based upon actual or perceived gender or sexual difference can last a lifetime. Sexual prejudice of educational personnel may inhibit the development of safe learning environments for all students and the preparation of students for a future in diverse environments. This research investigates sexual prejudice among pre-service teachers in one teacher preparation program and relates sexual prejudice to teacher demographic characteristics.

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