Academic Performance and College Aspirations Suffer When Harassment Goes Unchecked
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, released its most recent National School Climate Survey in 2003. For the first time, the bi-annual study reported a direct relationship between in-school victimization, grade-point averages (GPAs) and the college aspirations of LGBT students. At the same time, more than 4 out of 5 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students reported being verbally, sexually or physically harassed at school because of their sexual orientation.
Key findings of the 2003 National School Climate Survey include:
To download a free copy of the Survey and Key Findings document click onto the 'Related Documents' notepad to the right.
- Unchecked harassment correlates with poor performance and diminished aspirations: LGBT youth who report significant verbal harassment are twice as likely to report they do not intend to go to college and their GPAs are significantly lower (2.9 vs. 3.3).
- Supportive teachers can make a difference: 24.1% of LGBT students who cannot identify supportive faculty report they have no intention of going to college. That figure drops to just 10.1% when LGBT students can identify supportive staff at their school.
- Policymakers have an opportunity to improve school climates: LGBT students who did not have (or did not know of) a policy protecting them from violence and harassment were nearly 40% more likely to skip school because they were simply too afraid to go.
- Harassment continues at unacceptable levels and is too often ignored: 84% of LGBT students report being verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation. 82.9% of students report that faculty never or rarely intervene when present.
GLSENís National School Climate Survey is the only national survey to document the experiences of LGBT students in Americaís schools and has been conducted bi-annually since 1999. The 2003 survey includes responses from 887 LGBT middle and high school students from 48 states and the District of Columbia. Key findings, the complete survey and additional information about methodology and demographics may be obtained by calling GLSENís Communications Department at 212-727-0135 or by visiting www.glsen.org.
GLSEN, or the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, now in its 10th year, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for ALL students. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. For more information on GLSENís educational resources, public policy agenda, student organizing programs or development initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.