Research: Middle school LGBT students face more bullying

NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2009 – Middle school LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) students are significantly more likely to face hostile school climates than high school LGBT students, yet have less access to school resources and support, according to a new research brief from GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, released as the New York Times Magazine publishes a cover story on students coming out in middle school.

The research brief, the first national research report to look specifically at the experiences of LGBT students in middle school, is based on data from 626 LGBT middle school students who participated in GLSEN’s 2007 National School Climate Survey of 6,209 secondary school students.

“The findings should be a wake-up call to school officials and policymakers across the country that we can no longer ignore one of the biggest school climate issues facing middle school students, regardless of sexual orientation,” GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. “GLSEN has worked for many years to provide educators/schools with evidence-based solutions that they can implement to address anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. For the sake of all of our students, schools must take action to address these issues in the critical middle grades.”

More than 9 out of 10 LGBT middle school students (91%) said they experienced harassment at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation, 59% experienced physical harassment and a startling 39% said they had been physically assaulted, nearly twice as many as in high school (20%). Full story.


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