Benchmark survey reveals LGBT youth regularly hear anti-LGBT remarks and are harassed
NEW YORK - On November 13, GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) released state-level data from its biennial National School Climate Survey report for 29 states that show that schools remain unsafe for the majority of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) students.
The latest edition of GLSEN's National School Climate Survey, which first began in 1999 and remains one of the few studies to examine the middle and high school experiences of LGBT youth nationally, includes four major findings: schools nationwide are hostile environments for a distressing number of LGBT students; a hostile school climate affects students' academic success and mental health; students with LGBT-related resources and supports report better school experiences and academic success; and school climate for LGBT students has improved somewhat over the years, but remains quite hostile for many.
"The large number of students who reported hearing anti-LGBT language and who continue to experience verbal and physical harassment in schools in these states is unacceptable," said Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN's Executive Director. "GLSEN calls on everyone in these states and across the country to join us in ensuring students and educators are given the resources and supports to create safe and affirming school environments. All members of the school community need to feel empowered to intervene when others are undermining these efforts."
The 29 states with snapshots are Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Snapshots were created for states that had enough LGBT student respondents to allow for the analysis of the local findings.
Each state snapshot shows the percentage of students who regularly hear anti-LGBT remarks, the percentage who are victimized at school and whether the incidents were reported, and the availability of in-school resources and supports such as school staff, a comprehensive anti-bullying policy and Gay-Straight Alliances.
"Our research tells us that policymakers and education leaders in these 29 states must do more to create safer and more affirming schools for LGBT students," said Dr. Joseph G. Kosciw, GLSEN's Chief Research & Strategy Officer. "Training and empowering educators to create supportive environments, supporting Gay-Straight Alliances and increasing access to accurate and positive information about LGBT people, history and events and inclusive policies can improve school climate for all students."
State snapshots for 29 states can be found at www.glsen.org/statesnapshots. To access a summary video, infographic and both the executive summary and complete GLSEN National School Climate Survey report, visit www.glsen.org/nscs.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.
Courtesy of GLSEN
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