School involvement expectations of parents who accept and embrace their child’s same sex sexual orientation
Parents who have accepted and embrace their child’s same-sex sexual orientation, and their expectations of school involvement in enabling a safe and inclusive schooling space for their children has not received the necessary attention in research. To attempt in determining the expectations parents have, we used Bronfenbrenner’s socio-ecological model as a theoretical framework taking into account all of the ecologies holistically and not merely the parents and the schools as independent ecologies. Using a qualitative case study research design, we conducted semi-structured interviews with nine parents who accepted and embraced their child’s non-heterosexual sexuality in the Free State and Gauteng provinces of South-Africa. Findings suggest that due to the same-sex sexual orientation youth “hiding” their sexuality until they finish school, parents and schools were not placed in a position to engage actively in collaboration enabling a home-school partnership since they were “unaware”. Secondly, parents wanted to get actively involved by means of communication and collaboration in the schooling of their non-heterosexual children to enable a safe and inclusive schooling space for teaching and learning. This study concludes by making recommendations in creating a home-school partnership where an inclusive and safe schooling space can be created for the non-heterosexual youth.
Keywords: same-sex sexual orientation, heteronormativity, parental involvement, inclusivity.