Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying and Sexual Orientation January 2009 Jeff Soder, OSPI, email@example.com, 725-6044 I. Authority for the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning youth In 2002, House Bill 1444 requires Washington schools to adopt an HIB policy and share with parents, students, volunteers, and school employees; the law prohibits written, verbal or physical acts motivated by any characteristic in RCW 9A.36.080(3) i.e. race color, religion, ancestry national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, or sensory handicap; OSPI and WSSDA must provide model policy and training materials (RCW 28A.300.285) In 2002 WSSDA and OSPI lead development of a model/sample policy that lists sexual orientation as a protected group; they also develop a model/sample procedure In 2002-2003, OSPI delivers trainings through OSPI, ESDs, and Association of Washington School Principals; 326 trainings; 339 (67%) districts; 919 (40%) buildings; 11,228 administrators, teachers, students, intervention specialists, instructional assistants, bus drivers, parents, and community members are trained, at a cost of. $250,000 In 2006, ESHB 2661 is signed into law, making sexual orientation, including gender identity, a protected class in Washington State; discrimination in public accommodation (including schools) is now illegal; new law is under the jurisdiction of the WA State Human Rights Commission In 2007, Senate Bill 5288 adds ‘electronic’ to the state’s anti-HIB policy; schools must amend their policy by 8/1/08 and disseminate internet safety materials to parents In 2007, WSSDA and OSPI lead development of an electronic policy; after much debate, policy does not limit schools from taking action off campus and after school hours. Through Consolidate Program Review process OSPI monitors all districts for an HIB policy on 4 year cycle Safe & Drug Free Schools and Communities State Grant delivers limited federal dollars that can be used to support anti-bullying, best practice programs II. Harassment of LGBTQ youth 6,209 LGBT K-12 students from all 50 states complete questionnaire Three-fourths frequently heard homophobic remarks in school 90% heard gay used in a negative ways Nine-tenths were verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation Almost half had been physically harassed (pushed or shoved) because of their sexual orientation and three in ten because of their gender expression (male-not being manly enough; female-not being feminine enough) 22% reported being physically assaulted (punched, kicked, injured with a weapon) because of their sexual orientation 60% did not report the incident One third skipped at least one class and missed at least a day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe (5 times greater than secondary students in general) Amount of missed school was directly correlated with degree of harassment experienced Percentage of LGBTQ students who do not plan to pursue post secondary education is twice that of general students No plans for post secondary education was directly correlated with degree of harassment Kosciw, J. G., Diaz, E. M.,and Greytak, E. A. (2008). 2007 National School Climate Survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in our nation’s schools. New York: GLSEN. (The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.) III. Risk Factors for LGBTQ Youth Three times more likely to: Carry a weapons to school Seriously consider suicide Make a plan for suicide Miss at least one day of school in last month because they felt unsafe Be hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend Threatened or injured with a weapon Twice as likely to: To report depression Have property stolen Smoke cigarettes Use methamphetamines Use inhalants More likely to: Cs or below Be victims of violence Smoke cigarettes Drink alcohol Binge drink Use marijuana Have weaker connections to school and teachers Russell, S. T. et als. (2006). Harassment in school based on actual or perceived sexual orientation: Prevalence and consequences (California Safe Schools Coalition Research Brief No. 2). San Francisco, DA: California Safe Schools Coalition. IV. Emerging Best Practices Preventing School Harassment Survey in 2003, 2004, 2005 – 2,400 students were asked about school safety and steps schools can take to make schools safer. Publicize district policies prohibiting harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity Train all staff to prevent and respond to harassment Support Gay-Straight Alliance club Treat all forms of harassment seriously Teachers respond to slurs and negative comments Share with students where to go for information about sexual orientation and gender identity Include information about sexual orientation and gender identity in the curriculum Additional emerging best practices Visible ‘Out’ teachers and school administrators Visible straight allies who stand up for minority rights Visible partner agencies that serve sexual minorities (including counseling referrals) Review curriculum for stereotypes and bias Education leaders who are culturally competent regarding sexual minorities Well understood procedures and referral system for handling HIB Annual verbal notification (trainings and assemblies) in addition to written notification Utilize community-based trainers, support staff, parents, and students as trainers Preventing School Harassment Survey (Safe Place to Learn, www.casafeschools.org) Russell, S.T., McGuire, J.K., Laub, C., & Manke, E. (2006). LGBT student safety: Steps schools can take. (California Safe Schools Coalition Research Brief No. 3). San Francisco, CA: California Safe Schools Coalition; GLSEN (Gay/Lesbian/Straight Education Network) http://www.glsen.org/cgi- bin/iowa/all/home/index.html ; Safe Schools Coalition http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/ ; PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) http://www.pflag.org/Education___Programs.programs.0.html; National School Boards Association School Health Programs http://www.nsba.org; Advocates for Youth www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/frtp/inclusiveprograms.htm, National Education Association http://www.nea.org/index.html).
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