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Going Back To School Can Be Difficult For LGBTQ Teens

September 4, 2015

Coming back to school from summer vacation can be challenging for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and other identities (LGBTQ+). While it is often a return to supportive friends and teachers, it can also be a return to harassment, indifference, and exclusion. The Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools has great information on how to support LGBTQ youth as they return to school.

Mental Health America shows

o   Gay teens in U.S. schools are often subjected to such intense bullying that they’re unable to receive an adequate education. LGBT youth identified bullying problems as the second most important problem in their lives, after non-accepting families, compared to non-LGBT youth identifying classes/exams/grades.

o   LGBT youth who reported they were frequently harassed in school had lower grade point averages than students who were less often harassed.

o   One survey revealed that more than one-third of gay respondents had missed an entire day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe there.

o   LGBT youth feel they have nowhere to turn. 60% of LGBT students did not report incidents to school staff.  One-third who reported an incident said the staff did nothing in response.

In addition to these tips provided by the Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools, please keep in mind that Hillcrest is a resource in the Dubuque community (as well as Henry, Jackson, Keokuk, Louisa, Mahaska, and Washington counties) for teachers, students, families, and anyone else looking for guidance and support.  No one has to go-it alone!