Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Farrelly G.;O’Higgins Norman J.;O’Leary M.
Irish Educational Studies
Custodians of silences? School principal perspectives on the incidence and nature of homophobic bullying in primary schools in Ireland
Optional Fields
bullying homophobic bullying name-calling primary schools school leadership
© 2016 Educational Studies Association of IrelandThe research reported in this paper sought to determine the level of awareness among school principals in primary schools in Ireland where homophobic bullying is concerned. International research has previously shown that school leaders as animators of school climate are often lacking in their responses to this type of bullying [Walton, G. 2004. “Bullying and Homophobia in Canadian Schools: The Politics of Policies, Programs, and Educational Leadership.” Journal of Gay and Lesbian Issues in Education 1 (4): 23–36; Pizmony-Levy, O., and J. G. Kosciw. 2016. “School Climate and the Experience of LGBT Students: A Comparison of the United States and Israel.” Journal of LGBT Youth 13 (1–2): 46–66; Taylor, C. G., E. J. Meyer, T. Peter, J. Ristock, D. Short, and C. Campbell. 2016. “Gaps Between Beliefs, Perceptions, and Practices: The Every Teacher Project on LGBTQ-Inclusive Education in Canadian Schools.” Journal of LGBT Youth 13 (1–2): 112–140]. We sought to ascertain whether school principals in Ireland have had experience of dealing with this type of bullying, whether they believe it is a significant issue and what they perceive their role to be in relation to addressing homophobic bullying. The research focused on the views of school principals because of the critical role they play in policy implementation and school organisation. The research revealed that one in every two school principals had responded to homophobic bullying and that these same principals did not always consider the use of homophobic pejoratives to constitute homophobic bullying. The paper points to the need for further education and training for school leaders on the topic of homophobic bullying otherwise their perspectives will contribute to the many silences that surround this topic in primary schools in Ireland.
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