New California school climate data shows alarming rates of anti-LGBT harassment
Posted: 07/07/2011 - 12:53
LGBT students not safe at school, GLSEN research finds
California middle and high schools are hostile places for many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students, according to a new research brief released today by GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network and its San Diego and Orange County Chapters.
School Climate in California shows that California students face physical and verbal assaults because of their sexual orientation or gender expression and regularly hear anti-gay slurs from students and staff. The findings are based on the California students who participated in GLSEN’s 2009 National School Climate Survey. The survey also found that while most could identify at least one supportive educator, very few had access to any LGBT-inclusive resources or curriculum at school.
“As a high school principal, I am not only alarmed but saddened by the lack of progress we've made in addressing harassment of students. The time is right to take action by creating better policies and re-examining our approach in California to making schools as safe as possible for all youth,” said Brett Peterson, Co-Chair of the GLSEN San Diego Chapter.
Research highlights from School Climate in California:
88% of LGBT students regularly heard homophobic remarks (eg., “fag” or “dyke”);
35% of LGBT students were physically harassed (e.g., pushed or shoved) because of their sexual orientation;
16% of LGBT students were physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) because of their sexual orientation.
“LGBT students face extreme levels of victimization in California. We hope this new research will be a wake-up call to California leaders that more needs to be done to ensure that LGBT students are safe and have an equal opportunity to learn,” said Kevin O’Grady, Chair of the GLSEN Orange County Chapter. “Students are clearly saying educators and policymakers are not doing enough to stop anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.”
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