Two-thirds of 13- to 18-year-olds reported that they were verbally or physically harassed in school in 2004, according to a national survey.
Based on responses collected nationwide from 3,400 teenagers and 1,000 secondary school teachers, the survey was released by the Washington-based Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network. Harris Interactive, a Rochester, N.Y.-based research firm, conducted the online study in January.
According to the poll, 39 percent of teenagers said students are harassed most frequently because of the way they look or their body size. The next most common reason cited was students’ perceived sexual orientation; 33 percent of respondents said students are targeted for abuse because their peers think they are bisexual, lesbian, or gay. Among the students who experienced harassment in school, more than half said they never reported the problem to teachers or other school authorities.