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CLASS ACT: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF HOW AN ACCEPTING OR NON ACCEPTING ENVIRONMENT AFFECTS TRANSGENDER TEACHERS' PROFESSIONAL LIVES

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CLASS ACT: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF HOW AN ACCEPTING OR NON ACCEPTING ENVIRONMENT AFFECTS TRANSGENDER TEACHERS' PROFESSIONAL LIVES
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    CLASS ACT: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF HOW AN ACCEPTING OR NON ACCEPTING ENVIRONMENT AFFECTS TRANSGENDER TE AC HE RS ’   PROFESSIONAL L IV E S   by Dakota L. Douglass L ongsuff  eri ng HOWARD JACOBS, PhD, Faculty Mentor and C h air J. BRUCE FRANCIS, PhD, Committee M ember GRIFFIN WALLING, EdD, Committee M ember   James Wold, PhD, Interim Dean, School of Educati on A Dissertation Presented in Partial F ulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of P hil osophy Capella Univ e rsi t y December 2014    UMI Number: 3670353  All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion. UMI 3670353 Published by ProQuest LLC (2015). Copyright in the Dissertation held by the Author. Microform Edition © ProQuest LLC.  All rights reserved. This work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346  Ann Arbor, MI 48106 - 1346    © Dakota L. Douglass Longsuffering, 2014    Abst r a c t  The purpose of this study was to identify transgender teacher  ’s  perceptions of factors and sources which affected their professional lives through daily lived experiences. A qualitative phenomenological design was appropriate. An exploratory approach was implemented due to a gap in literature. Approval was granted for anonymous online data collection. A recruitment flyer, informed consent form, demographic survey, and essay questionnaire were distributed online to transgender websites, incorporating a snowball approach. Twelve teachers agreed to participate. Perceived factors influencing  participant ’ s work environments included attitudes, behaviors, acceptance or non- acceptance, student and parental responses, training issues for staff, job promotion or retention, policy changes, discrimination, and the administrations reluctance to enforce  policy which in turn, created fear, safety concerns, health problems, confrontation, and student and parent retaliation. Sources identified included religious organizations, Federal and State legislators, administration, HR, staff, students, parents, cultural structures, and regional beliefs. A minority of participants reported positive work environments. The majority was negative. This study provides a base framework to build upon for further research into the needs and concerns within the transgender community.  iii D edication  This dissertation is dedicated to religious organizations, educational institutions, and the medical profession including social science fields for further exploration into the lives of transgender individuals promoting understanding and unity. My Creator “ YH VH”  has been with me through the process of exploring and understanding the transgender phenomena and how it relates to my life. This journey has enabled me to be enlightened, healed, encouraged, and to educate others on what “ unconditional love”  truly entails and what happens when it is withheld due to ignorance.
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