Published Online: October 12, 2010
Published in Print: October 13, 2010, as Bullying

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"Safe at School: Addressing the School Environment and LGBT Safety Through Policy and Legislation"

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A review of research and court records on school harassment cases finds that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students are more than twice as likely as other K-12 students to be bullied by peers, and that nearly a third of students who reported harassment said school officials did not respond.

The study released by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder suggests schools could become legally vulnerable if they do not provide clear systems to respond to bullying based on students’ sexual orientation, and they suggest several interventions to improve school climate for such students. Those steps include having policies to prevent students from being referred for special education based on sexual or gender identification—as happened to two students who later sued their schools—and requiring districts to teach students anti-bullying guidelines directly, rather than just through staff training.

Vol. 30, Issue 07, Page 5

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