Four Steps You Can Take to Create Safe Schools

Bullying is an endemic problem in American schools. Anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) bullying is one of the most pervasive forms of bullying and often the weapon of choice for bullies, regardless of the bullied student's sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Yet many schools have not effectively addressed anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment.

GLSEN recommends four approaches that schools can implement now to address anti-LGBT bullying and make schools safer for all students.

1.  Adopt a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that enumerates categories such as race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender expression/identity.

Enumeration is crucial to ensure that anti-bullying policies are effective for all students. Policies without enumeration are about as effective than having no policy at all when it comes to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment, according to GLSEN's 2011 National School Climate Survey

2.  Require staff trainings to enable school staff to identify and address anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment effectively and in a timely manner.

  • Successful School District Training Programs
  • The GLSEN Lunchbox

3. Support student efforts to address anti-LGBT bullying and harassment on campus, such as the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance or participation in events such as the National Day of Silence and Ally Week.

4. Institute age-appropriate, inclusive curricula to help students understand and respect difference within the school community and society as a whole.

Additional Resources for Parents

  • GLSEN Chapters: GLSEN's 35 chapters provide anti-bullying support to schools on a local level.
  • Stop Bullying Now: US Department of Health and Human Services offers flash movies, games, and information about bullying and how to prevent it.

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