The LGBT Health & Development Program

A Groundbreaking Study – Bias, Bullying & Homophobia in Grade Schools

Posted on January 20th, 2012 by Farrin in Allies, Research Blog, Youth Blog. No Comments

“Playgrounds and Prejudice: Elementary School Climate in the United States” is the first national study to look at homophobia, gender nonconformity in elementary schools.

The report examines students’ and teachers’ experiences with biased remarks and bullying, and their attitudes about gender expression and family diversity.  The findings indicate a strong need for elementary educators to provide better support to students by addressing these issues of homophobia, gender expression, and family diversity within the school setting.

Key findings of the study include:

          • The most common form of biased language in elementary schools heard by both students and teachers, is the use of the word “gay” in a negative way, such as “that’s so gay,” (students: 45%, teachers: 49%).
          • Compared to other students, gender nonconforming students are less likely to feel very safe at school (42% vs 61%), more likely to indicate they sometimes do not want to go to school because they feel unsafe or afraid there (35% vs 15%), and more than others to be called names, made fun of or bullied at least sometimes at school (56% vs 33%).
          • A majority of teachers (85%) have received professional development on diversity or multicultural issues, but less than half of teachers have ever received specific professional development on gender issues (37%) or on families with LGBT parents (23%).
          • To see the complete findings, click here.

Are you an educator?  Here’s a great opportunity to attend a FREE GLSEN webinar for an in-depth look at the findings of Playgrounds and Prejudice and learn more about the new GLSEN Teacher’s Toolkit (see link below to download).

Teacher’s Toolkit:

Ready, Set, Respect! contains suggested lesson plans that focus on name-calling, bullying and bias, LGBT-inclusive family diversity and gender roles and diversity. Designed for teachers to use as either standalone lessons or for integration into existing curriculum content or school-wide anti-bullying programs.    DOWNLOAD



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