Bullying in Schools: Harassment Puts Gay Youth at RiskWhile trying to deal with all the challenges of being a teenager, gay/ lesbian/ bisexual/ transgender (GBLT) teens additionally have to deal with harassment, threats, and violence directed at them on a daily basis. They hear anti-gay slurs such as “homo”, “faggot” and “sissy” about 26 times a day or once every 14 minutes.
Even more troubling, a study found that thirty-one percent of gay youth had been threatened or injured at school in the last year alone!
Their mental health and education, not to mention their physical well-being, are at-risk.
How is their mental health being affected?
- Gay and lesbian teens are at high risk because ‘their distress is a direct result of the hatred and prejudice that surround them,’ not because of their inherently gay or lesbian identity orientation.
- Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.
How is their education being affected?
- Gay teens in U.S. schools are often subjected to such intense bullying that they’re unable to receive an adequate education. They’re often embarrassed or ashamed of being targeted and may not report the abuse.
- GLBT students are more apt to skip school due to the fear, threats, and property vandalism directed at them. One survey revealed that 22 percent of gay respondents had skipped school in the past month because they felt unsafe there.
- Twenty-eight percent of gay students will drop out of school. This is more than
three times the national average for heterosexual students.
- GLBT youth feel they have nowhere to turn. According to several surveys, four out of five gay and lesbian students say they don’t know one supportive adult at school.
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