Gay Minnesota teens report rampant school harassment


Given the the vehemence with which anti-gay activists oppose anti-bullying measures in our schools, the results of a new survey hardly sound surprising: Straight Minnesota teenagers think it's fine to bully their LGBT classmates.

What's worse, some teachers are leading the way with homophobic remarks.


The National School Climate Survey published by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network found that a fifth of gay Minnesota teens reported being physically harassed, and four out of five say said they were verbally assaulted, in 2009. That's the latest year for which statistics are available.

Most of the kids surveyed said they could identify at least one teacher or school staff member in which they felt safe to confide. But the survey also found that 14 percent of the kids said they heard teachers bandying around homophobic comments like "dyke," and "fag."

Only about a third attended a school with a comprehensive bullying/harassment policy that included specific protections based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

The saddest part: Most kids who reported being bullied didn't consider it worth their time to tell teachers or staff. And of the kids who did report being bullied, most said nothing changed after reporting the incident.