GLSENthe Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Networkhas released The 2009 National School Climate Survey, a poll of 7,261 middle and high school students, according to a press release. Among the key findings are that nearly nine out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school within the past year and nearly two-thirds felt unsafe because of their sexual orientation.
An analysis of the data has shown that since 1999, LGBT students have heard fewer anti-gay slurs; however, their experiences with more serious forms of bullying/harassment has hovered at about the same rate.
Other results include:
That 84.6 percent of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 40.1 percent reported being physically harassed and 18.8 percent reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation;
Nearly two-thirds ( 61.1 percent ) of students reported feeling unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation, and more than a third ( 39.9 percent ) because of their gender expression; and
Being out in school had positive and negative repercussions for LGBT students: Being open was related to morevictimization, but also better levels of psychological well-being.
However, there were also positive results, such as a correlation between the presence of gay-straight alliances and less victimization of LGBT students.
GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byrd said, "As our nation seems to finally be taking bullying more seriously, it is crucial that LGBT students are no longer left out of efforts to address this public health crisis."