With the recent teen tragedies that involve bullying and harassment towards gay teens, parents and communities need to step up and step into action.
Bullying is an endemic problem in American schools. Anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) bullying is one of the most pervasive forms of bullying and often the weapon of choice for bullies, regardless of the bullied student’s sexual orientation. Yet many schools have not effectively addressed anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment.
GLSEN recommends four approaches that schools can implement now to address anti-LGBT bullying and make schools safer for all students.
1. Adopt a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that enumerates categories such as race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender expression/identity.
2. Require staff training to enable school staff to identify and address anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment effectively and in a timely manner.
3. Support student efforts to address anti-LGBT bullying and harassment on campus, such as the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance or participation in events such as the National Day of Silence and Ally Week.
4. Institute age-appropriate, inclusive curricula to help students understand and respect difference within the school community and society as a whole.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and has mentioned or is considering suicide take it seriously and get help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386.