Safe Schools – Continued

  • African American transgender students have reported alarming rates of harassment, physical assault, and sexual assault at school, according to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. In fact, 21 percent of those surveyed reported that harassment was so severe that they had to leave school. ((Jamie Grant, Lisa Mottet and Justin Tanis, “Injustice at Every Turn: a Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey,” 2011:
  • Studies show that young people who have been persistently bullied experience an increased prevalence of depression and suicidal behavior. ((Anat Brunstein Klomek, PhD, Andre Sourander, MD and Madelyn S. Gould, PhD, MPH, “Bullying and Suicide: Detection and Intervention”, Psychiatric Times, February 10, 2011:  This also includes young people who bully others, as they have often been subjected to bullying themselves.
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 gay and transgender students experience verbal harassment at school. ((Elizabeth M. Diaz and Joseph G. Kosciw, Ph.D, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), “Shared Differences: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students of Color in Our Nation’s Schools”, 2009:
  • Gay and transgender youth who are harassed or abused in K-12 settings show dramatically worse health and other outcomes than those who have not experienced such abuse. Peer harassment and abuse has highly damaging effects, emotionally and otherwise. ((Ibid.))
  • A study of the climate on college campuses found that 61 percent of gay and transgender students, faculty, and staff indicated that they had been the targets of derogatory remarks by classmates, colleagues or others on campus, compared to 29 percent of their heterosexual peers. ((Campus Pride, “State of Higher Education for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People, 2010”:

Connect through storytelling:

  • Sirdeaner Walker of Springfield, Massachusetts lost her 11-year-old son, Carl Joseph, in 2009 to suicide after he was bullied. Carl was constantly taunted by bullies who called him “gay” and relentlessly teased him. Incidents like this happen all too often—school officials must intervene when a child reports bullying.
  • In 2012, Kardin Ulysse, a 14-year-old student at Roy H. Mann Junior High School in New York City was beaten by a pair of bullies while they shouted anti-gay slurs and insults. Kardin has since undergone multiple surgeries to restore vision to his right eye, which was damaged during the attack. Unfortunately stories such as these are all too common and schools are sometimes too slow to act.


“One thing is clear to me: We, as human beings, must be willing
to accept people who are different from ourselves.”
– Barbara Jordan