Public schools

Six Out of Ten LGBT Students Say They Feel Unsafe at School

Another argument for school choice, perhaps?


Six out of 10 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teens say they feel unsafe at school. Eighty-two percent of that same group say they've been verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation, while 71 percent say they've heard homophobic remarks like "dyke" or "faggot" used with some frequency at school.

These are just three of the more disturbing statistics revealed by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) 2011 National School Climate Survey. According to GLSEN researchers, the annual poll—which comprised 8,584 student respondents from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia—aims to "consistently examine the experiences of LGBT students in America's schools."

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  1. Did they control for socioeconomic factors? Did they ask straight students the same question? What questions did they ask before asking if they were unsafe?
    For example: they probably would have had a different result with the unsafe question if they had asked questions like these in this order – “what fun things do you do with your family?” “do you have a friend you can talk to?” “do you like to laugh?” “do you like sunshine?” “do you feel safe?”
    as opposed to…
    “has anyone ever said something mean about your sexuality?” “have you ever felt worried about walking alone at night on a poorly lit street?” “do students make fun of you?” “do you feel unsafe at school?”

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