Here is the reason for Hate Crime Legislation and Gay-Straight Alliances

There is a new study out showing why schools need Gay-Straight Alliances and why we as a nation need hate crime legislation to include gays and lesbians.  Part of the study found:

"Three-quarters of students surveyed across America said that over the past year they heard derogatory remarks such as "faggot" or "dyke" frequently or often at school, and nearly nine out of ten  reported hearing "that’s so gay" or "you’re so gay" – meaning stupid or worthless – frequently or often.

Over a third of students said they experienced physical harassment at school on the basis of sexual orientation and more than a quarter on the basis of their gender expression. 

Nearly one-in-five students reported they had been physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation and over a tenth  because of their gender expression.

LGBT students were five times more likely to report having skipped school in the last month because of safety concerns than the general population of students.

Students who experience more frequent physical harassment were more likely to report they did not plan to go to college, the study found.

Overall, LGBT students were twice as likely as the general population of students to report they were not planning to pursue any post-secondary education.

In addition, the average GPA for LGBT students who were frequently physically harassed was half a grade lower than that of LGBT students experiencing less harassment.

"On the positive side, it also makes clear that inclusive policies, supportive school staff and student clubs, like Gay-Straight Alliances, all relate to reduced harassment and higher achieving students."

The presence of supportive staff contributed to a range of positive indicators including greater sense of safety, fewer reports of missing days of school, and a higher incidence of planning to attend college the study found.

Students in schools with a GSA said they were less likely to feel unsafe, less likely to miss school, and more likely to feel like they belonged at their school than students in schools with no such clubs.

Jennings said that having a comprehensive policy was related to a lower incidence of hearing homophobic remarks and to lower rates of verbal harassment. 

Students at schools with inclusive policies also reported higher rates of intervention by school staff when homophobic remarks were made."


You can’t tell me that the people opposed to Gay-Straight Alliances in schools are doing the right thing.  They are religious zealots worried about losing their own power. 

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