Some teachers in England will remember the days of Section 28 which was introduced by the Conservative Government, led by Margaret Thatcher. This legislation banned local authorities and schools from promoting homosexuality and from promoting the acceptability of homosexuality as a ‘pretended family relationship’. Research demonstrates the powerful and long-lasting effects of Section 28 (Edwards et al., 2016).12 It contributed to a climate of fear through the policing of heterosexuality in schools, resulting in marginalisation, oppression and regulation of teachers and students who did not identify as heterosexual or cisgender (Neary, 2013).13 Teachers who identified as LGBTQ+ were forced to conceal their personal identities and during this time, homophobic bullying often went unchallenged due to fear that teachers would be accused on promoting homosexuality. Effectively, schools became ‘panoptic laboratories’ (Edwards et al., 2016, p. 300)14 which promoted compulsory heterosexuality (Rich, 1980).15 The legislation was repealed in 2003, although research suggests that heteronormative discourses in schools continue to marginalise teachers and students with non-normative identities.
|Media of output||Internet|
|Publisher||University of Cambridge|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Jun 2020|