Survey links harassment and academic success of gay students
The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network released its 2003 National School Climate Survey on Monday, and for the first time, the biannual study reported a direct relationship between in-school victimization, grade-point averages, and the college aspirations of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students.
Some key findings of the survey included: 84% of GLBT students reported being harassed because of their sexual orientation, and 82.9% reported that faculty never or rarely intervened when present; 24.1% of GLBT students who could not identify supportive faculty reported they have no intention of going to college. That figure dropped to just 10.1% when GLBT students could identify supportive staff at their school.
Policymakers have an opportunity to improve school climates, GLSEN said in its press release. GLBT students who did not have or know of a policy protecting them from violence and harassment were nearly 40% more likely to skip school because they were simply too afraid to attend. "These numbers are a wake-up call and a direct challenge to the 41 states that so far remain without policies that explicitly protect GLBT students," said Kevin Jennings, GLSEN executive director.
"We know that such policies, when fully implemented, are having a positive impact. GLSEN continues to lead efforts to institute and implement policies that work, promote successful in-school programs, and empower our nation's educators with tools and knowledge that will lead to safe and effective classrooms for all students."
For more information on GLSEN's educational resources, public policy agenda, student organizing programs, or development initiatives, visithttp://www.glsen.org.