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Anti-LGBTI bullying and violence on the rise in schools

Anti-LGBTI bullying and violence on the rise in schools

Schools can be a hard place for youth

A recent report from the University of Oregon reveals anti-LGBTI bullying and biase-based violence is on the rise in schools within the state.

The State of Safe Schools Report is a collaboration between University researchers and the Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition.

They surveyed 600 schools and over 27,000 students to collect their data. Overall, they found that student well-being is at a much higher risk for LGBTI students.

‘In 2017, bias-based bullying, violent harassment, sexual assault and fear-based absences were at alarming rates among our LGBT youth,’ said Julie Heffernan, graduate director of teaching and licensure at UO’s College of Education and co-chair of the Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition.

‘We’ve known these are issues for a long time, but this is the first time we’ve had Oregon data that highlights just how bad conditions can be in our schools.’

Recently, an Oregon school district came under fire for discrimination against LGBTI students.

The ACLU won the case, resulting in the principal getting fired and the district being put on probation.

Major findings

Researchers found that twice as many LGBTI students experience bullying and harassment. They are also twice as likely to be threatened with a weapon (1 in 5 transgender students and 1 in 10 LGB students).

Suicide ideation and mental health problems are also on the rise.

One half of LGBTI youth reported experiencing suicide ideation during 2017. One quarter revealed they attempted suicide last year.

All of this has an impact on the students’ education. LGBTI students are three times as likely to miss school out of fear for their safety.

One of the reasons this data hasn’t been as accurately captured before is because questions of sexuality and gender identity are not often included in surveys.

The report concludes with policy recommendations, including inclusive curriculums, clubs like Gay-Straight Alliance, and training for teachers and staff.

H/t: Around the O