LGBT students not safe at school, GLSEN research finds
Texas middle and high schools are hostile places for many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students, according to a new research brief released by GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network and its Houston Chapter.
School Climate in Texas shows that Texas 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 Texas 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.
“This data confirms the stories we hear from LGBT youth in Texas who face not only anti-LGBT slurs from students and even staff, but are even physically harassed while at school,” said Dr. Kim Case, Chair of the GLSEN Houston Chapter. “The pervasiveness of this harassment clearly shows that we need to be doing more to ensure the safety of all of our youth.”
Research highlights from School Climate in Texas:
96% of LGBT students heard “gay” frequently, often or sometimes used in a negative way;
32% of LGBT students regularly heard staff make negative remarks about someone’s gender expression;
23% of LGBT students were physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) because of their sexual orientation.
About the National School Climate Survey
GLSEN's biennial National School Climate Survey is the only national survey to document the experiences of students who identify as LGBT in America's secondary schools. The 2009 survey includes responses from 7,261 LGBT students between the ages of 13 and 21 from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including 510 students from Texas. Data collection was conducted through community-based groups, online outreach, and targeted advertising on the social networking sites Facebook and MySpace. The margin of error for results reported in School Climate in Texas is +/- 4%.
About GLSEN Houston
GLSEN Houston strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN Houston is an accredited Chapter of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe 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.
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