STUDY: Florida Schools Show Unsafe Environments for LGBT Students

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Broward may have been the first county in the nation to recognize October as LGBT History Month, but Florida schools are among the most hostile environments for gay teens, new research indicates.

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network has released its findings for the 2011 National School Climate Survey, a biennial study that documents the school experiences of LGBT students nationwide.

The results show that gay teens in Florida face high levels of harassment based on their sexual orientation or gender expression and regularly hear anti-gay slurs from students and staff.

Nine in 10 LGBT students between the ages of 13 and 20 said they regularly heard homophobic remarks like “fag” or “dyke” at school.

“While we have seen some progress nationally in the 14 years since we started our National School Climate Survey, much work remains to ensure that all Florida schools are safe and affirming environments for LGBT students,” Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s executive director, said in a statement.

“We look forward to working with our Florida Chapter partners to ensure that every LGBT student has equal access to a quality education.”

The 2011 survey includes responses from 8,584 students between from around the country. A total of 416 respondents from Florida schools; of those respondents 38 percent said they were physically harassed (pushed or shoved) because of their sexual orientation.

GLSEN also found that few Florida students had had access to any LGBT-inclusive resources or curriculum at their schools.

More numbers:

  • 20% of LGBT students were physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) because of their sexual orientation.
  • Only 1 in 10 (12%) were taught positive representations of LGBT people, history, and events.
  • Only 5% attended a school with a comprehensive anti-bullying/harassment policy.
  • Check out the study:

    STUDY: Florida Schools Show Unsafe Environments for LGBT Students by Sergio Nahuel Candido

    Sergio N. Candido