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Once viewed as an inevitable if unpleasant part of growing up, bullying is now recognized as a real threat to students' physical and psychological well-being -- particularly in light of recent teen suicides linked with homophobia in schools. Despite a shift in public attitudes and legislative responses to the problem, bullying remains a constant reality for many queer youth in Canadian schools. In "Don't Be So Gay!" Queers, Bullying, and Making Schools Safe, Donn Short considers the effectiveness of anti-harassment policies and safe-school legislation to address the problem of homophobic bullying. After spending several months in ten Toronto-area high schools interviewing queer youth and their allies, Short concludes that current legislation and its approach to school safety and homophobia is generally more responsive than proactive and transformative. "Don't Be So Gay!" suggests that while effective legislation is vital to establishing a safe space for queer students, other influences -- including religion, family beliefs, and peer pressure -- may be more powerful. Drawing on students' own experiences and thoughts on how safety is pursued in their schools and how their understandings and definitions of safety might be translated into law and policy reform, this book offers a fresh perspective on a hotly debated issue.Donn Short is an assistant professor of law at Robson Hall Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba and the founding editor of the Canadian Journal of Human Rights.
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