From Truth Out: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/20364-anti-bullying-as-a-civil-right
By Joseph Schroer and Laura Finley
Monday, 02 December 2013
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) youth are among the most vulnerable to bullying and harassment, both in and out of schools. The Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) conducts a biennial National School Climate Survey in which they measure how frequently bullying of LGBT students occurs in schools and the responses to it.
The 2011 survey includes responses from 8,584 students between the ages of 13 and 20. Students were from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and from 3,224 unique school districts. Results indicated that eight out of 10 LGBT students (81.9 percent) experienced harassment at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation, three-fifths (63.5 percent) felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and nearly a third (29.8 percent) skipped a day of school in the past month because of safety concerns.
Further, the majority of students in this study who were harassed or assaulted (60.4 percent) did not report it because they believed nothing would change or that the situation might worsen. Of those who did report, 36.7 percent said school officials did nothing. This finding reinforces research that has continually shown that many teachers and administrators do little to counteract homophobic attitudes, including studies in 2003 and in 2010.
There have been very little (and in some instances no) improvements in the quality of the learning environment for LGBT youth. Similar studies 10 to 15 years ago found virtually the same results as those reported by GLSEN. And, a study reported in the UK’s TES magazine for educators found that gay teachers are even less likely to respond out of fear for their own job security.
This daily harassment and abuse takes a heavy toll on LGBT youth. The 2011 National School Climate Survey found that almost 30 percent of students skipped a class at least once in the past month because they felt uncomfortable and/or unsafe, and almost 32 percent skipped a full day of school each month for those reasons. Scholarly research in 2012 found incredibly similar results, noting that almost 30 percent of students had skipped at least one class, and 32 percent skipped an entire day of school within the past month because they felt unsafe.
Continue reading at: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/20364-anti-bullying-as-a-civil-right