THESIS

Watching this video brings out many emotions; sadness, anger, frustration, and hope. LGBTQ youth are bullied at twice the rate of non-LGBTQ youth.[1] Many teachers don’t step in and intervene and are rarely proactive when dealing with homophobic remarks and bullying of LGBTQ youth.[1] Laws are being implemented to protect LGBTQ youth from harassment but many are only partially enforced, if at all. Negative beliefs about LGBTQ people and the LGBTQ youth community perpetuate homophobia and bullying of LGBTQ youth, creating uncomfortable and unsafe school settings for those who don’t conform to heterosexuality. Creating new Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) or strengthening existing ones can help disseminate information about LGBTQ people and the LGBTQ community while giving LGBTQ youth a place to feel safe, accepted, and welcome. GSAs can help to break down barriers between students at school created by misunderstandings and lack of knowledge or insight from those students who are not LGBTQ.

This website has been created for the purpose of educating people about the problems associated with LGBTQ youth bullying, reasoning behind why the problem is so prevalent and how we can use GSAs to work faster towards inclusive, safe, and LGBTQ bullying free schools all LGBTQ youth.

Statistics About the Problem

The 2011 National School Climate Survey conducted by The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) using a sample of 8,584 students ages 13-20, found that 82% of LGBT youth had problems during the previous year with bullying regarding their sexual orientation.[1] The following figures shows how often LGBTQ youth experience verbal harassment based on their sexual orientation compared to other students. 

Freq of verbal harassment

That number is outrageously high, and the distress caused by verbal and physical harassment and other forms of bullying have shown to be detrimental to a child’s educational success and emotional and mental well being.[3] 

1. Kosciw, J. G., Greytak, E. A., Bartkiewicz, M. J., Boesen, M. J., & Palmer, N. A. (2012). The 2011 National School Climate Survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in our nation’s schools. New York: GLSEN.

2. Rajski, P., & Stone, R. (Producers), & Rajski, P. (Director). (1981). Trevor [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TptsUPA0gvg

3. Swearer, S. M., Espelage, D. L., Vaillancourt, T., & Hymel, S. (2010). What can be done about school bullying? Linking research to educational practice. Educational Researcher, 39(1), 38-47. http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/0013189X09357622

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