Education Thinking, ISSN 2778-777X – Volume 3, Issue 1 – 2023
Volume in progress – Education Thinking follows the rolling publication model: articles are published on an ongoing basis all over the year, as soon as they are ready. The articles listed are final and citable.
Supporting Transgender Youth in U.S. Public High Schools
Transgender youth in the United States need support in public schools (Kosciw et al., 2020). This growing population experiences bullying, discrimination, and violence at higher rates than their cisgender counterparts, and this has negative impacts on their educational success and mental health (Garthe et al., 2022; GLSEN, 2021; Goldblum et al., 2012; Johns et al., 2019; Jones, 2018; Sausa, 2005). State and federal non-discrimination policies affect the degree to which transgender students feel safe (Fields & Wotipka, 2022). Yet, research shows that non-discrimination laws are ultimately limited in their impact, and schools need to establish their own policies and practices to support transgender youth (Meyer & Keenan, 2018; Roberts & Marx, 2018; Spade, 2015).
A total of 42 peer-reviewed journal articles were identified that address how to best support transgender students in secondary public schools. These articles were analyzed, and four major themes emerged as successful interventions: professional development for teachers, transgender-inclusive school policies, gay-straight alliances, and trans visibility in the curriculum. Drawing on Meyer’s (2003) and Testa et al.’s (2015) adaptation of minority stress theory, this review shows how schools have the potential to act as a buffer against minority stress for transgender youth. Suggestions for further studies based on gaps include a push for more intersectional research and research centered on school practices that currently work for transgender students.
Yet, research shows that non-discrimination laws are ultimately limited in their impact, and schools need to establish their own policies and practices to support transgender youth (Meyer & Keenan, 2018; Roberts & Marx, 2018; Spade, 2015).
Pages 3–18 / Publication date: 10/02/2023 / View HTML full text/ Download full-text PDF