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ERIC Number: ED513906
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 51
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Safe at School: Addressing the School Environment and LGBT Safety through Policy and Legislation
Biegel, Stuart; Kuehl, Sheila James
National Education Policy Center
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students face a unique set of safety concerns each day. Over 85% report being harassed because of their sexual or gender identity, and over 20% report being physically attacked. Far too often teachers and administrators do nothing in response. In part because of this, the suicide rate for LGBT students continues to be 3-4 times higher than that of their straight counterparts, and in some parts of the country LGBT runaways may comprise up to 40% of the entire teen homeless population. Advances in law and policy have helped lead to much more fulfilling and productive lives for many LGBT persons, but the problems facing LGBT youth in America's public schools are still substantial. Gay and gender-non-conforming students continue to be confronted with challenges that can become overwhelming. Court records and academic research reveal a highly troubling pattern of mistreatment, negative consequences, and a dramatic failure on the part of many educational institutions to adequately address LGBT-related issues and concerns. This brief describes those issues, presents concrete policy recommendations, and then offers model statutory code language to implement many of those recommendations. Among other things, this brief documents: (1) Recurring examples of traumatic peer mistreatment, often with faculty complicity; (2) The resulting harm to the academic achievement and aspirations of LGBT students; (3) Lives lost, both directly through assaults and indirectly through suicide; (4) LGBT runaway rates and teen homelessness rates that remain disproportionately high; and (5) The particular ongoing challenges faced by LGBT students of color. A list of references is included. (Contains 77 notes.) [This paper was produced in collaboration with the Williams Institute in the University of California, Los Angeles Law School.]
National Education Policy Center. School of Education 249 UCB University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309. Tel: 303-735-5290; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice
Authoring Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder, National Education Policy Center