Students who are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community suffer from a variety of different issues while in school.
This is something that is a national issue in so many communities. However, 74.1% of the LGBTQ+ community reports being verbally bullied while in school and 32.6 % of the community reports being physically harassed. This makes a student lose their sense of safety while in school and makes students frequently miss class time. Students can lose their sense of drive to succeed in academics. As of recently, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) has provided no topics on students in the LGBTQ+ community. This is long overdue.
The below website is where the blurb at the top came from. This site provides ideas such as writing letters to the editor, lobbying your members of Congress, and links to other articles about this vast topic.
The Trevor Project reports that these students are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide and students who are questioning are twice as likely to attempt suicide (http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/facts-about-suicide).
HB 1612 in Virginia will make a principal have to contact a student’s guardian if the student asks to be called by a different pronoun and comes out to the teacher (https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+sum+HB1612). Referenced to the Trevor Project, students who have a family that rejects them based on this are 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide.
The link to the video is a good example of how bad it can be for students who are rejected by family.
What schools are doing right.
The Virginia Education Association released an article in their magazine about how to incorporate and make the LGBTQ+ youth feel that their classroom is a safe space. This is done by having stickers on your door that simply say “Safe Space.” LGBTQ+ sensitivity workshops are being done with faculty and staff members on how to talk with a student who may be understanding who they are. And some schools are having links posted on their websites so that students may report bullying that will go directly to the administration at the school.
VEA Magazine (pp 14-17)
Under the Obama administration, the Department of Education and Department of Justice released a letter detailing the ways in which the provisions in Title IX should be extended to protect transgender and gender nonconforming students. The letter can be read here: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201605-title-ix-transgender.pdf and it covers four main areas: a safe an nondiscriminatory learning environment, student identification and pronoun use, sex-segregated activities and facilities, and privacy and education records. In conjunction with the letter, the two departments also released a memo detailing best practices by schools in ensuring fair treatment for transgender students, which can be found here: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/oshs/emergingpractices.pdf. The current administration has withdrawn the protections outlined in these documents, but they cannot prevent our schools from adhering to practices that protect all students.
The CDC gives additional facts about students well-being while in school. See the link below.
The ACLU gives information about the rights of LGBTQ+ students while in school. See the link below.
The National Education Association provides additional statistics about students who are part of the LGBTQ+ community and what they have experienced.