Virtually all LGBT students from Georgia who participated in a recent School Climate survey reported hearing homophobic slurs like "dyke" and "fag," and almost half said they had been pushed or shoved because of their sexual orientation.
The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network surveyed some 7,261 LGBT students across the country for the 2009 National School Climate Survey. The survey — conducted every two years — included 175 high school and middle school students from Georgia. GLSEN released the Georgia-specific results today.
“LGBT students face disturbing levels of victimization in Georgia. We hope this new research will be a wake-up call to Georgia leaders that more needs to be done to ensure that LGBT students are safe and have an equal opportunity to learn,” said Dr. Joseph Kosciw, GLSEN Senior Director of Research and Strategic Initiatives, in a June 27 press release. “Students are clearly saying educators and policymakers are not doing enough to stop anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.”
Survey: Homophobic remarks, harassment common in Ga. schools
• 95 percent of LGBT students regularly heard homophobic remarks (eg., “fag” or “dyke”);
• 45 percent of LGBT students were physically harassed (e.g., pushed or shoved) because of their sexual orientation;
• 18 percent of LGBT students were physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) because of their sexual orientation.
Some 95 percent of students also reported hearing sexist remarks, while 71 percent reported hearing racist remarks from other students. Close to 1/3 — 31 percent — said they had heard negative comments related to gender expression from school staff, and 29 percent said they heard homophobic remarks from school staff.
Harassment and assault based on sexual orientation or gender identity were also frequently reported:
• 88 percent reported verbal harassment related to sexual orientation; 45 percent reported physical harassment, and 18 percent reported physical assault;
• 67 percent reported verbal harassment related to gender expression; 28 percent reported physical harassment, and 11 percent reported physical assault;
As a silver lining, 88 percent of students said they had access to LGBT-supportive educators. But only 12 percent said they attended a school with bullying protections specific to sexual orientation and gender identity, 22 percent said their school had a gay-straight alliance, and only 4 percent said they had an LGBT inclusive curriculum.