Safe schools policy for LGBTQ students

Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ) are vulnerable to bullying, harassment, compromised achievement, and emotional and behavioral health problems. A national survey of LGBTQ youth in secondary schools found that nearly all of them heard homophobic remarks in school, and three-quarters heard such remarks often. Moreover, 40 percent had been physically harassed and 20 percent had been physically assaulted.

A new Social Policy Report from SRCD on Safe Schools Policy for LGBTQ Students provides an overview of the research evidence on the state of LGBTQ youth in secondary schools today, including the newest findings about the degree to which these youth are at a high risk of being bullied and harassed. Given that the research they present shows that students are better equipped to succeed and achieve when they feel safe in school, the authors also include recommendations to federal and state policymakers in addition to education administrators and professionals on how to better foster safe school environments for LGBTQ and all students. A two page Social Policy Report Brief highlights key findings and implications for policy and practice in the full report.

The authors of this Social Policy Report are Stephen T. Russell, Distinguished Professor and Fitch Nesbitt Endowed Chair in Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona; Joseph Kosciw, Senior Director of Research & Strategic Initiatives at the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network; Stacey Horn, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Elizabeth Saewyc, Professor of Nursing and Adolescent Medicine at the University of British Columbia.

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