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This is a valuable resource for
teachers and school counselors who want to adopt a positive attitude to gay,
lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and other sexual minority students.† It consists
of seven chapters, each concerning a different aspect of school life.† It
starts from the fundamental assumption that most schools harbor a great deal of
homophobia and hostility towards students and teachers who don't conform to
heterosexual standards.† Every chapter includes many boxes with press clippings
telling stories of what has happened around the United States, and these make
the book easy to browse through.† Each chapter is also written in question and
answer form, and while there are some references and there are appendices with
suggestions for further reading, the book is aimed at a very general readership
and is not at all technical.† It makes many references to popular culture such
as MTV and items from the news.†
Beyond Diversity Day is
especially sensitive to issues of minorities and homosexuality, cultural
differences, and addresses a wide range of issues facing this population.† It
also includes some surprising facts, such as that gay youth have greater risk
of having heterosexual sex leading to pregnancy, because they engage in sex
rashly to allay suspicions of others that they are gay.† GLBT youth seem to
also often have difficulties in forming relationship skills and indeed are at
risk for depression and other mental disorders.† The book explains these issues
clearly and sets out information in easily digestible form.
The book is also good on the
difficulty that teachers and counselors can run into in declaring their
sympathies with sexual minority youth.† Any discussion of sexuality with
students can cause trouble for authority figures unless there has been prior
approval by parents.† Teachers often have to be aware of the danger that their
jobs may be at risk, especially if they don't have tenure.† Nevertheless,
Arthur Lipkin has suggestions for teachers and counselors taking a proactive
stance in helping the GLBT youth while at the same time looking after their own
interests.†† Beyond Diversity Day will be very useful for those who want
to help students who are questioning their sexuality or know that they are not
© 2005 Christian
Perring. All rights reserved.
Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities
Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also
editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on
philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.
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