The 2009 national school climate survey: the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in our nation's schools

Case Studies & Research
New York
164 p.

In our 2009 survey, we examine the experiences of LGBT students with regard to indicators of negative school climate: hearing biased remarks, including homophobic remarks, in school; feeling unsafe in school because of personal characteristics, such as sexual orientation, gender expression, or race/ethnicity; missing classes or days of school because of safety reasons; and experiences of harassment and assault in school. We also examine the possible negative effects of a hostile school climate on LGBT students' academic achievement, educational aspirations, and psychological well-being. We explore the diverse nature of LGBT students' experiences by reporting on how these differ by students' personal and community characteristics. We also examine whether or not students report experiences of victimization to school officials or to family members and how these adults address the problem. In addition, we demonstrate the degree to which LGBT students have access to supportive resources in school, and we explore the possible benefits of these resources, including Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs), school harassment/assault policies, supportive school staff, and curriculum that is inclusive of LGBT-related topics.

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