Are Florida schools doing enough to protect gay students from bullying?
It's no surprise that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students in middle and high schools are bullied as much if not more than other students. But an advocacy group suggests, based on survey results, that school staff contribute to a hostile climate and often don't intervene effectively when bullying incidents are reported.
A new research brief from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (attached below) extracts the Florida results from a 2009 national survey on bullying against gay and lesbian students. It finds that 27 percent of respondents said they regularly heard school staff make negative remarks about how someone expressed their gender (i.e., not acting "feminine" or "masculine" enough) and 22 percent said they regularly heard staff make homophobic remarks. Twenty-eight percent of those who had reported bullying incidents said it resulted in effective intervention. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percent.
The group recommends that schools implement comprehensive anti-bullying policies, support Gay-Straight Alliances, provide training for staff to better respond to bullying against gays and lesbians and "increase student access to LGBT-inclusive curricular resources."