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April 2, 2013 > LGBT students face unsafe school environments

LGBT students face unsafe school environments

Submitted By Andy Marra

California middle and high schools are hostile places for many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students, according to School Climate in California, a research snapshot of the experiences of LGBT students in California schools released today by GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

The findings based on California students who participated in GLSEN's 2011 National School Climate Survey, show that LGBT students in California schools face high levels of harassment based on their sexual orientation or gender expression and regularly hear anti-gay slurs from students and staff.

The research snapshot also shows that while most students could identify at least one supportive educator, very few had access to any LGBT-inclusive resources or curriculum at school. More than a decade of findings from the GLSEN's National School Climate Survey have shown consistently that school-based supports - such as anti-bullying/harassment policies, supportive staff, LGBT-inclusive curricular resources, and Gay-Straight Alliance student clubs (GSAs) - can positively affect LGBT students' school experiences.

"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 California schools are safe and affirming environments for LGBT students," said Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN's Executive Director. "We look forward to working with our California Chapter partners to ensure that every LGBT student has equal access to a quality education."

For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.

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