According to GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey, conducted in 2015, Florida schools are “not safe for most
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) secondary school students.” The survey’s findings were published on GLSEN’s website.
The survey measured the experiences of 10,528 LGBTQ+ students across the nation, including 559 in Florida, and examined their access to resources and experiences of anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments and discrimination at school. The 2015 survey was the first to specifically include the experiences of bisexual students, as well as school policies that affected transgender students.
Researchers found that a majority of Florida students surveyed heard anti-LGBTQ+ language used at school, including people using the word “gay” with negative connotations, using homophobic slurs, or making negative remarks about gender expression or transgender individuals.
Over 30% of students reported being disciplined for types of PDA that their straight peers were not disciplined for. This was the most common form of discrimination experienced. Additionally, 62% of transgender students reported being prevented from using the restroom or other gendered facilities that aligned with their gender. In addition, 63% of transgender students reported that they were not allowed to use their preferred name and pronouns at school.
Based on their findings, GLSEN recommends that Florida schools implement LGBTQ+ supportive policies, provide inclusive training for staff, support GSAs and other LGBTQ+ groups, and increase student access to LGBTQ+ resources. According to the report, ” students attending schools with these resources and supports report more positive school experiences, including lower victimization and absenteeism and higher academic achievement.”
GLSEN conducted another survey earlier this year, and the findings will be available in fall of 2018.
Read the report and information on other states on GLSEN’s website.