Nearly nine out of 10 LGBT students have experienced some form of harassment on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network reports.
The study, released Tuesday, surveyed 7,261 LGBT-identifying middle and high school students over the course of 10 years. From 1999 to 2009, GLSEN found nearly two-thirds of LGBT students have felt unsafe at some point in their academic careers because of their sexual orientation, and approximately one-third had skipped at least one day of school within the month they were surveyed due to safety concerns.
Sexual orientation and gender expression were treated as separate considerations in GLSEN's decade-long investigation into school conditions. Nearly 85% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 40.1% reported being physically harassed, and 18.8% reported being physically assaulted as a result of their sexual orientation. The numbers are similar for cases related to gender expression, with 63.7% of LGBT students reporting verbal harassment, 27.2% reporting physical harassment, and 12.5% reporting physical assault. Some 72.4% of LGBT students reported hearing homophobic slurs like "faggot" and "dyke" frequently on school grounds.
The respondents range in age from 13 to 21 and represent all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The full findings of The 2009 National School Climate Survey can be viewed here (opens as PDF).