To the Editor:
Tracking school climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students is crucial to illuminate a problem historically ignored or played down (“Efforts Build to Track Climate for LGBT Students”).
Long hidden in the shadows, LGBT students frequently suffer in silence for fear of physical or psychological retribution. Depression and suicide are disproportionate among LGBT youths. This should not be.
There are glimmers of hope resting in Gay-Straight Alliances based in some high schools across the nation, as well as the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, both of which serve as a resource to schools as well as support and a voice to students stumbling their way through adolescence, which can be tough enough in itself.
Hopefully, with a database to support the already well-known hostility toward LGBT youths in schools, as well as the support of many educational allies teaching in our classrooms, data in the future can be collected on the positive impact on the lives of LGBT students.
A version of this article appeared in the December 03, 2014 edition of Education Week as Tracking Hostility to LGBT Youths Will Help in Efforts to Support Them