Monday, October 13, 2014
Last week, the Gay-Straight Alliance Network and Crossroads Collaborative released a set of reports on bullying and harrassment based on sexual orientation in schools. The reports also addressed whether LGBTQ are subject to disparate discipline. Unfortunately, bullying based on sexual orienation is not new, but what was surprising was that LGBTQ youth are subject to disparate discipline and often blamed for their victimization. A set of policy recommendations by the Advancement Project accompanies the reports.These reports find that: 1) "over 80 percent of LGBTQ students [are] verbally harassed at school over their sexual orientation" and 2) minority students, specifically black and hispanic students, are significantly more likely to be suspended from school than their white peers. " Researchers began their study in 2012 by conducting a number of surveys and holding focus group discussions. Many LGBTQ and gender non-conforming students, like Tanayshia Price who is the specifically quoted in the article, admitted to feeling targeted not only by their peers but also by teachers and school administrators and feeling blamed when they attempted to bring up the topic of bullying. The results find that "LGBTQ youth of color in particular face persistent and frequent harassment and bias-based bullying from peers and school staff as well as increased surveillance and policing, relatively greater incidents of harsh school discipline, and consistent blame for their own victimization." The reports also point out that the harsh disciplinary measures are likely a contributing factor to the "school-to-prison" pipeline, especially given that while these students only constitute 6% of the general student population, they comprise 15% of the juvenile detention population.
See here for the reports.