Using Education Law as a Tool to Empower Social Justice Leaders to Promote LGBTQ Inclusion

Maria M. Lewis, Sarah Kern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: A significant and growing body of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) research examines the experiences of students, employees, and the substance of leadership training. This project aims to complement this work by taking a macro-level look at the broader legal and policy issues that may constrain or enhance a school district leader’s ability to promote LGBTQ inclusion. Through an examination LGBTQ issues, this article will explore the relationship between various sources of legal authority and the role of law in policy implementation. Method: This article employs legal research methodology to illuminate the breadth of the law affecting LGBTQ issues in schools. Findings: The impact of law on education policy and practice is far-reaching and complex. LGBTQ law is composed of many intersecting sources of legal authority. This article argues that legal literacy is more than a tool that can be used to avoid legal liability; it can be used as a proactive advocacy tool to promote social justice and LGBTQ inclusion. Implications: Educational leaders, researchers, and leadership preparation programs need to be aware of the ways in which the law can hinder or support social justice leadership. As such, this article includes implications for research, policy, practice, and leadership preparation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-746
Number of pages24
JournalEducational Administration Quarterly
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Public Administration


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