National Research

Research about harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools across the country is a valuable tool for understanding the experiences of LGBT youth, youth with LGBT parents, and students who are perceived as LGBT in our schools. Reports from well-respected national education and medical professional associations can make a big difference in advocacy efforts aimed at school administrators, school board members, and other policy makers. Use the research and reports below to help you advocate for change in your school.

If you would like to conduct your own school climate survey, GSA Network can provide you with sample surveys and help you analyze the results. Contact us!

Discipline Disparities, School Pushout, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Gender Nonconforming Youth and LGBTQ Youth of Color

Source: GSA Network

In October 2014, GSA Network and Crossroads Collaborative released a set of reports finding that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, gender nonconforming youth, and youth of color not only face bullying and harassment from peers, but also harsh and disparate discipline from school staff, relatively higher levels of policing and surveillance, and blame for their own victimization. To accompany the reports, Advancement Project, a national civil rights organization, and GSA Network also released a set of policy recommendations based on the research for school staff, policy makers, and young people advocating for change.

Implementing Lessons that Matter: The Impact of LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum on Student Safety, Well-Being, and Achievement

Source: GSA Network

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right: Why Zero Tolerance is Not the Solution to Bullying

Source: GSA Network, Advancement Project, and Alliance for Educational Justice

This policy paper examines the surge of recent policy and legislative activity around bullying of LGBT and other youth, and find that policymakers and school officials have erroneously adopted zero-tolerance policies that rely on suspensions, expulsions, and arrests of alleged bullies. This punitive approach results in students being needlessly pushed out of school and placed onto a path into the criminal justice system coined the “school-to-prison pipeline.”

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Gay-Straight Alliances: Creating Safer Schools for LGBT Students and Their Allies

Source: GLSEN

This brief examines current research on GSAs and highlights major findings regarding school safety, access to education, academic achievement for LGBT students, and access to GSAs in school.

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Harsh Realities: The Experiences of Transgender Youth in Our Nation's Schools

Source: GLSEN

This report finds that transgender youth face extreme harassment in school.

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Shared Differences: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students of Color

Source: GLSEN

The report documents the experiences of over 2,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) middle and high school students of color who were African American or Black, Latino/a, Asian or Pacific Islander, Native American and multiracial.

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Involved, Invisible, Ignored: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Parents and Their Children in Our Nation’s K-12 Schools

Source: GLSEN

This report from GLSEN, in partnership with COLAGE and Family Equality Council, examines and highlights the school experiences of LGBT-headed families using results from surveys of LGBT parents of children in K-12 schools and of secondary students who have LGBT parents.

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Hatred in the Hallways: Violence and Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students in U.S. Schools

In this report, Human Rights Watch documents attacks on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth who are subjected to abuse on a daily basis by their peers and in some cases by teachers and school administrators. These violations are compounded by the failure of federal, state, and local governments to enact laws providing students with express protection from discrimination and violence based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, effectively allowing school officials to ignore violations of these students rights.

Source: Human Rights Watch

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Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel (Updated 2008 edition)

Developed and endorsed by the following organizations:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Counseling Association
  • American Association of School Administrators
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American Psychological Association
  • American School Health Association
  • Interfaith Alliance Foundation
  • National Association of School Psychologists
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • National Education Association

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Bullying in Schools: Harassment Puts Gay Youth at Risk

Source: Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association)

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Want more info?

Visit GLSEN’s research department to access numerous reports that document anti-LGBT bias in education (K-12 schools).