Nine in 10 LGBT teens have been verbally harassed in the past school year, and almost half have been physically harassed because of their sexual orientation a new study shows.
In addition, about a third skipped a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s National School Climate Survey involved 6,209 LGBT students between the ages of 13 and 21 from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
GLSEN has conducted the survey biennially since 1999 and is the only national survey to document the experiences of students who identify as LGBT in America’s secondary schools.
The new survey found that three-quarters of LGBT teens hear slurs such as “faggot” or “dyke” frequently or often at school, and nine in 10 reports hearing anti-LGBT language frequently or often.
Homophobic remarks such as “that’s so gay” are the most commonly heard type of biased remarks at school. Research shows that these slurs are often unintentional and are a part of teens’ vernacular. Most do not recognize the consequences, but the casual use of this language often carries over into more overt harassment.
“The 2007 National School Climate Survey reveals that, on a whole, the situation is still dire for many LGBT youth when it comes to school safety,” GLSEN Executive Director Kevin Jennings said. “It’s hard to believe that anyone who reads this report could continue to turn the other way as our nation’s LGBT students are bullied and harassed at alarming rates. The good news is there’s hope. The 2007 National School Climate Survey also shows that when schools and educators take action, they can make a drastic difference.”
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