Discrimination and Heterosexism in Schools: The School Experience of Same Sex Attracted Youth (SSAY)

By Patrick O’Brien and Mark Hohnke.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Beginning with a discussion of current legislation in Australia around inclusion, this paper highlights recent research into the school experience of Same Sex Attracted Youth (SSAY), including the issues faced by students, the negative outcomes of such experiences, the critical role that administrators school staff (particularly school counsellors) can play determining school culture. Factors that may influence a more supportive and inclusive school culture are discussed.

Keywords: Inclusion, Discrimination, Social Justice, Homophobia

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.211-216. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 511.407KB).

Dr. Patrick O’Brien

Senior lecturer, Faculty of education, Australian Association for Research in Education, Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia

Patrick O’brien is a Senior Lecturer in the faculty of Education at the University Of Southern Queensland- Fraser Coas Campus. He has written and had published practical articles in the area of teacher burnout, counselling, co-operative learning, thinking skills, the teaching of pro-social skills and multiple intelligences. Dr O’Brien is on the management board of the Wide Bay Sexual Assault Unit and The Kids Intervention Prevention Program. He is an advisory member of the board of the Queensland Transpersonal and Emotional Release Counselling Association Inc., an affiliate with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia. Dr O’Brien is on the editorial panel of Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Health International Interdisciplinary On-line Refereed Journal of the Australian Counselling Association. Patrick is a member of the Australian Association for Research in Education, The Australian Counselling Association and the Australian Guidance Counselling Association. He has been a member of the Queensland Ministerial Advisory Committee on Special Education; the Queensland Director General’s Advisory Council on Special Education Needs, a State Moderator in the area of Intellectual Impairment and has been a member of the Queensland Teacher’s Union Special Needs Committee. Patrick has a Doctorate in Education, which he completed in 1998 through research in the use of Multiple Intelligences in Counselling.

Mark Hohnke

Teacher, Statewide Validator, Education Adjustment , Program, Australian Association for Research in Education, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

Mark Hohnke is a Statewide Validator, Education Adjustment Program (EAP) for the Darling Downs /South West Queensland Region. This role incorporates quality assurance processes regarding the provision of special education resources and provides professional development in the area of program and resource design for students with disabilities. Mark was previously the Head of Special Education Services (secondary schooling), leading and managing the provision of inclusive practices for a large cohort of students with a range of impairments. Mark has delivered psychoeducational group programs with men and boys through the Men and Relationships Program which operates as a part of Lifeline, Toowoomba. He has facilitated programs primarily in emotional management. Mark is completing a Master of Education through the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba. He is an accredited telephone counsellor with Lifeline and mentors trainee counsellors. He has worked as a part time lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland, teaching 2nd year special education students in the course, “Building Inclusive Communities”. He has also delivered workshops and seminars on the topic of inclusion to learning support teachers, guidance officers, advisory teachers and pre-service educators.


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