I started this blog because recently there have been an overwhelming number of youth suicides that were a direct result of bullying in schools. Perhaps the most widely reported was that of Tyler Clementi, who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate videotaped him having sex with another man and put it on the internet, complete with unbelievably cruel commentary, for the world to see. That is just ONE example. This has to stop. Here are a few statistics from various reporting agencies on the climate in schools and the effects of bullying, often largely due to sexual identity and related issues:
- Nearly one-fourth of students from elementary through high school have reported that they have been harassed or bullied on school property because of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.-2001-2002 California Student Survey
- Six out of 10 American teens witness bullying at least once a day. -National Crime Prevention Council, 2003
- Students hear anti-gay epithets 25 times a day, and teachers fail to respond to these comments 97% of the time. -Gay Lesbian Straight Educator’s Network.
- One out of every 10 students who drops out of school does so because of repeated bullying. -Oklahoma Health Department, 2001
- Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75% of school-shooting incidents. -US Secret Service Report, May 2002
- Gay and lesbian youth are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than other youths, and 30% of all completed youth suicides are related to the issue of sexual identity. -Report to the Secretary’s Task Force on Youth Suicide
- Students who describe themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered are five times more likely to miss school because of feeling unsafe while 28% are forced to drop out. -National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 1984
- 85% of teachers oppose integrating lesbian, gay and bisexual themes in their curricula. -Making Schools Safe for Gay and Lesbian Youth: Report of the Massachusetts Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, 1993
- More than 91% of LGBT students say they hear homophobic slurs or expressions frequently or often.-GLSEN 2003 National School Climate Survey
- Nearly 58% of LGBT students have had property stolen or deliberately damaged at school. -GLSEN 2003 National School Climate Survey
- More than 64% of LGBT students say they feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation. -GLSEN 2003 National School Climate Survey
This has to stop. If you want to help, get these facts out there. Let people around you, people on the web, people everywhere know that precious lives are being lost due to ignorant sport. Do not let another bright, promising future come to a close because someone decided to ridicule what they did not understand.