"It's about protocols and decorums" : governing queer student sexualities in schools as a human rights issue

Dwyer, Angela E. (2008) "It's about protocols and decorums" : governing queer student sexualities in schools as a human rights issue. In Garbutt, Rob (Ed.) Proceedings of Activating Human Rights and Peace Conference, 1-4 July 2008, Byron Bay.

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This paper will explore schools' governance of queer student sexualities as a human rights issue in relation to how romantic relationships are heterosexualised in schools. Even though schools are typically spaces in which romantic desires are 'properly' expunged, heterosexual relationships are so taken for granted that they are situated as a normal, basic human right. School staff consider them as a more proper way of doing romantic relationships in schooling contexts than same sex relationships. The paper argues that in doing this, schools perpetuate the idea that same sex relationships are abnormal and in need of 'proper' control and regulation. It explores how heterosexual relationships have become so normalised that, although illegal, some schools discriminate against same sex couples and deny same sex attracted young people their human rights and continue to reinforce school spaces as necessarily heterosexual spaces. As an exemplar, the paper will engage with the decision by a private boys school in Brisbane, Queensland, to disallow gay students to bring their male partners to a school formal in April 2008. The paper concludes with a call for more explicit school staff training and further research on how these forms of discrimination are enacted in schools.

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ID Code: 17764
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The contents of this conference proceeding can be freely accessed online via the organizer's web page (see hypertext link).
Additional URLs:
Keywords: queer youth, heteronormative schooling, human rights, queer young people, gay school ban
ISBN: 978-0-9804980-5-9
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 [please consult the author]
Copyright Statement: Copyright Statement: Articles remain the copyright of the author, but authors by virtue of submission agree to grant the Centre for Peace and Social Justice at Southern Cross
University a copyright license to permanently display the article online for public viewing as part of this conference proceedings, and to grant the National Library of Australia a copyright licence to include the Proceedings in the PANDORA Archive for permanent public access and online viewing. Articles first published in this proceedings may subsequently be published elsewhere by authors, provided the next version acknowledges this original publication.
Deposited On: 15 Feb 2009 22:29
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:47

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