Texas schools remain hostile for many LGBTQ secondary students, GLSEN report finds

The vast majority of LGBTQ students in Texas regularly heard anti-LGBT remarks.

GLSEN’s Biennial National School Climate Survey shows students still lack school-based supports, despite positive effect on school climate for LGBTQ students

Texas – GLSEN today released state-level data from its benchmark National School Climate Surveywhich shows that U.S. secondary schools are slowly improving but remain hostile environments for many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students.

The biennial survey, which began in 1999, found that harassment and discrimination negatively affect LGBTQ students’ educational outcomes and mental health. The research also confirmed that lower levels of harassment and better educational outcomes are related to the presence of school-based supports: LGBTQ-inclusive anti-bullying policies, LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum, supportive educators and Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs).

For Texas specifically, the report found:

  • The vast majority of LGBTQ students in Texas regularly heard anti-LGBT remarks. Many also regularly heard school staff make homophobic remarks (28 percent) and negative remarks about someone’s gender expression (37 percent).
  • Most LGBTQ students in Texas had been victimized at school. Of those, more than half never reported the incident to school staff (60 percent). Only 30 percent of those students who reported incidents said it resulted in effective staff intervention.
  • Many LGBTQ students in Texas reported discriminatory policies or practices at their school. Over two-thirds (78 percent) experienced at least one form of discrimination at school during the past year. In Texas, two-thirds of transgender students (65 percent) were unable to use the school restroom that aligned with their gender identity.
  • Many LGBTQ students in Texas did not have access to in-school resources and supports. Only 4 percent attended a school with a comprehensive anti-bullying/harassment policy; just 15 percent had access to an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum; half (52 percent) could identify six or more supportive school staff; and a third (33 percent) had access to a GSA or similar student club.

“The results of this survey mirror the stories we hear from LGBTQ middle and high school students in Texas,” said Jessica Toste, Co-Chair of GLSEN Austin. “While some schools have made great strides, we live in a large and diverse state where many schools continue to be hostile environments for many of these students. Now, more than ever, they need our support."

State snapshots for 30 states can be found at www.glsen.org/statesnapshots. To access infographics, an executive summary and the complete GLSEN National School Climate Survey report, visit www.glsen.org/nscs.

About GLSEN -GLSEN champions safe and affirming schools for all students. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach tens of thousands of K-12 schools across the United States, and our network of chapters brings GLSEN’s expertise to their local communities. GLSEN's progress and impact have won support for our work at all levels of education in the United States and sparked an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, public education, research and educator training programs, please visit glsen.org

Copyright 2017 The Gayly – January 11, 2017 @ 11:30 a.m.