The findings – 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment at school. In the 2009 survey of 7,261 middle and high school students, nearly two-thirds felt unsafe because of their orientation. Nearly one third skipped at least one day of school in the past month because of safety concerns.
“In 1999, GLSEN began data collection on the school experiences of LGBT students in order to fill a critical void in our knowledge and understanding of the ways LGBT issues play out in schools. It could not be clearer that there is an urgent need for action to create safe and affirming schools for LGBT students,” GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. “As our nation seems to finally be taking bullying more seriously, it is crucial that LGBT students are no longer left out of efforts to address this public health crisis.”
More findings from GLSEN:
84.6% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 40.1% reported being physically harassed and 18.8% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
63.7% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 27.2% reported being physically harassed and 12.5% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their gender expression.
72.4% heard homophobic remarks, such as “faggot” or “dyke,” frequently or often at school.
Nearly two-thirds (61.1%) of students reported that they felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation, and more than a third (39.9%) felt unsafe because of their gender expression.
29.1% of LGBT students missed a class at least once and 30.0% missed at least one day of school in the past month because of safety concerns, compared to only 8.0% and 6.7%, respectively, of a national sample of secondary school students.
The reported grade point average of students who were more frequently harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender expression was almost half a grade lower than for students who were less often harassed (2.7 vs. 3.1).
Increased levels of victimization were related to increased levels of depression and anxiety and decreased levels of self-esteem.
Being out in school had positive and negative repercussions for LGBT students – outness was related to higher levels of victimization, but also higher levels of psychological well-being.