Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Steve Stone


In public schools, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students face the negative consequences of homophobic harassment. This qualitative phenomenological study aimed to learn about previous LGBTQ high school student opinions and lived experiences and their encounters with school employees regarding fostering a safe and inclusive school climate. There is a lack of institutional support for LGBTQ students who self-identify or are believed to be LGBTQ in public schools. An open-ended, web-based survey of 17 high school LGBTQ graduates between the ages of 18 and 24 was used as part of this qualitative research. Perceptions and lived experiences of a safe school environment and interactions with school personnel and peers, coping mechanisms, potential academic endeavors and continuing education beyond high school, quality of institutional support, and recommendations to improve the quality of institutional support for LGBTQ students emerged from the study. The topics were critical to comprehending participant perceptions and lived experiences of homophobia in public schools. The study's findings backed up the literature and the high level of institutional support provided by school employees and peers. Educational leaders and educators are given recommendations. The findings of this study are critical for stakeholders in public education who are striving to provide institutional support for LGBTQ children in the classroom.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License