When public high schools promote heterosexuality at the cost of denying sexual minority youth the opportunity to learn about minority sexualities, these schools contribute to the disastrous situation in which many sexual minority high school students find themselves. This approach, which many public high schools take, is unnecessarily destructive and warrants prompt change. Instead of helping to perpetuate many of the challenges that sexual minority students face in high school, public high schools can and need to help address these challenges. To establish the case for such a position, this article begins by presenting the plight of many sexual minority high school students. Next, the article offers the following suggestions on how public high schools can help sexual minority students deal with their sexualities: forming support groups for sexual minority youth, discussing a wide variety of sexual orientation perspectives when appropriate in classes, instituting diversity training for teachers, and implementing non-discrimination policies that address sexual orientation. In addition, the article demonstrates how the proposed approaches are constitutional under the First Amendment because they do not violate speech rights of public high schools or of students enrolled in such high schools. Finally, the article demonstrates that the proposed approaches are also constitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment because they do not violate the substantive due process liberty rights of the parents of public high school students, regardless of the sexual orientations of the students.
Carlo A. Pedrioli, Lifting the Pall of Orthodoxy: The Need for Hearing a Multitude of Tongues in and Beyond the Sexual Education Curricula at Public High Schools, 13 UCLA WOMEN'S L.J. 209 (2005)