Tag Archives: LGBT Students

Lesbian, bisexual girls face higher odds of being suspended or expelled, say researchers

A study into the differing experiences among lesbian and bi pupils in the American school system has found an alarming disparity in the way it treats its LGBT+ and straight pupils.

According to the report, young lesbians and bisexual girls are 95% more likely to be disciplined at schools than their straight peers, according to a 15-year survey of some 5,000 American families.

But the report’s author, Princeton sociologist Joel Mittleman, says that only about a third of the risk can be explained by students’ misbehavior. He believes discrimination by faculty and administrators could be a real factor.

“The results suggest that sexual orientation itself may shape teens’ experiences in very different ways for girls versus boys,” Mittleman said in a statement. “My results are consistent, for example, with recent research showing that sexual minority girls are dramatically overrepresented in the juvenile justice system in a way that sexual minority boys are not.”

Overall teens attracted to the same sex have 29% higher odds of being taken out of school. But when broken down by gender, girls experienced 95% higher odds while gay/bi boys had zero increased risk of discipline. (The study did not examine other factors such as race, family life, or academic achievement.)

Another recent study, out of Tel Aviv University, found that people often stereotype bisexual women as “confused,” “disagreeable,” and “neurotic.” So we shouldn’t be surprised if school staff are primed to see queer girls as problems.

Even if, and perhaps especially, if they’re retaliating against a bully.

Sociologists say they’re only beginning to explore how sexual orientation impacts interactions with institutional authorities: Lesbians and bisexual women are also overrepresented in the American prison system—representing 42% of the female prison population, but only 4.4% of the female general population.


What Will Trump’s Election Mean For Students?

Because of the Trump election, I am worried about just about everyone, from women to LGBTQ people to people of color – but I’m especially worried about children.

Students are just figuring out their identities, looking to the media to figure out who they are and whom it’s okay to be. And if Trump and his cabinet carry out the policies they promised during election season, students are going to get the message that it’s not okay to be anything except straight, white and male.


It’s impossible to know for sure how Trump’s presidency will affect students, but educational professionals have some idea. And it doesn’t look good.

Public education funding will decrease.

A voucher program allows taxpayers to direct money to private schools instead of public schools. Yes, this is as elitist as it sounds. Low-income public schools lose the few precious funds that they have, while expensive private schools get to fatten their coffers. Worse, many private schools are beyond state and federal regulation, so the government can’t intervene to make sure LGBT students are treated equally.

Transgender rights will face a setback.

Title IX of the Constitution forbids discrimination based on sex. In the past few years, Democrats have interpreted this title to include gender identity, mandating that public schools and state colleges let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice.

The Supreme Court is deliberating this issue. If Trump appoints a conservative justice, this Title IX interpretation will likely be shot down, and transgender students will have a harder time receiving fair treatment.

Research on LGBT students will be restricted.

Obama has directed funding toward researching the treatment and education that LGBT students receive in schools. This research is vital because it shows where the most work needs to be done.Although research has improved in this area, there’s still a lot of work to be done. A lot. Few longitudinal studies have been conducted on LGBT students to track their experiences over time, and most federal data sources include few if any questions about LGBT experiences. When Trump takes office, we can expect this crucial research to decrease.

Although research has improved in this area, there’s still a lot of work to be done. A lot. Few longitudinal studies have been conducted on LGBT students to track their experiences over time, and most federal data sources include few if any questions about LGBT experiences. When Trump takes office, we can expect funding for this crucial research to decrease.

When Trump takes office, we will have to vigilantly watch his economic, foreign and social policies. But we will have to keep a particular eye on our schools, where the most vulnerable young Americans may suffer the most.

Student Banned From Wearing Pro-LGBT Shirt From High School Because It’s Deemed ‘Disruptive’

School administrators have sadly reprimanded a 13-year-old student for showing up to school wearing an LGBT-positive T-shirt this week – saying the message is both “distracting” and “disruptive.”

The shirt bore the phrase, “Some people are gay. Get over it!” in rainbow-hued letters, and was worn by Ali Chaney of Copperas Cove, Texas.

However, Chaney was summoned to the office at SC Lee Junior High School, where she said school officials told her she had to change her shirt. Her mother, Cassie Watson, said Ali called her crying because she felt school leaders were discriminating against her for being gay.

Watson said;

I would never, ever have expected it from the administration. I would think that the administration would be the first ones there to support her,”

However, the school maintains that the shirt violated the dress code, releasing a statement through its Copperas Cove Independent School District that notes,

Our purpose at CCISD is to educate children, first and foremost. According to CCISD’s dress code in the Student Handbook and Code of Conduct, clothing that is disruptive to the learning environment based on reactions by other students is prohibited. The student was offered a school shirt to wear and declined.”

In a conversation outside the school, Sledd claimed multiple students were distracted by the shirt.

But, Ali and her mother do not believe the shirt was disruptive.

It’s just a shirt, and it’s not hurting anybody.”

She added that the dress code is not enforced equally among all students, showing a photo of her friend wearing a shirt that insinuated President Barack Obama was an Islamic Communist. That friend was not asked to change clothes, even though the shirt made a political statement, Ali said.

The district offered a rebuttal, sending its own photo of a third student who wore a Miley Cyrus ‘twerking’ shirt. The district said that student was told to change shirts and complied without incident.

When asked whether district leaders photograph all students who violate the dress code, Sledd did not respond.

Ali’s mother filed a complaint with the district. She said she does not want an apology for what happened, but she does believe her daughter deserves one.

Teen Kicked Out Of Prom For Wearing A Suit Is Offered Spot On Popular TV Sitcom

Pennsylvania student, Aniya Wolf – who was refused entry to her High Schools prom for wearing a suit – has been asked to wear the tuxedo on the FXX sitcom “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

Wolf – who attends Bishop McDevitt High School in Philadelphia – told ABC27 last week that she was forced to leave the prom because she was wearing a tuxedo rather than a dress.


The school issued a statement saying that students were told of the dress code — which requires female students to wear formal dresses — three months before prom.

There has been an outpouring of support for Wolf since her story was made public, including from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, professional soccer player Ashlyn Harris and actor Rob McElhenney.

McElhenney, a Philadelphia native and one of the stars and creators of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” took to Twitter this week to ask Wolf to wear her suit on the show when it tapes in Philadelphia in June.


Wolf didn’t believe the invite at first.

Wolf, a lesbian, told ABC27 after she was kicked out of her prom that

I think my experience shouldn’t be any different than anyone else’s because of something I was born with.”

The high school student has since been invited to go to York City School District’s prom on May 21.

Wolf said she plans to attend.

Out Student Kicked Out Of Her Prom After Wearing A Suit

Aniya Wolf, a junior at Bishop McDevitt High School, was banned from entering her prom after wearing a suit instead of a dress.

The student said that a school official grabbed her by the arm and threatened to call the police after she wore a tuxedo to the school dance on Friday.

Talking to ABC27, she explained

I’ve always been like this, ever since I was little. I was always more masculine. You wouldn’t catch me playing with any Barbie dolls, I’ll tell you that right now.”

Aniya said she’s worn pants to school for the past three years and openly identifies as a lesbian.


Both Aniya and her mother Carolyn said they received a last minute email from the school, notifying them of the dress code explaining that girls must wear a dress to the dance.


Carolyn then called the school to complain about the notice, and to inform them she had just purchased a new suit for her daughter.

I told them that I had read the dress code that was given to the students and I didn’t think that it precluded her from wearing a suit. I said that this was very unfair, particularly at the last minute.  We had gone out and bought a new suit. I think my daughter is beautiful in a suit.”

Still, officials at Bishop McDevitt High School placed the blame on Aniya for not following the dress code.

In a statement the school said

The dress code for the prom specified girls must wear formal dresses. It also stated that students who failed to follow the dress code would not be admitted. Bishop McDevitt will continue to practice acceptance and love for all our students. We simply ask that they follow the rules that we have put into place.”

Number Of Children Self-Harming Grows, As Mental Health Problems Amongst Students Rise

A newly-published survey of head teachers says the number of children are self-harming or harbouring suicidal thoughts is growing, because mental health problems amongst pupils are rising.

A survey of 338 schools in the UK, revealed 55% of staff said they had experienced a large increase in cases of anxiety and stress – while more than 40% reported a big increase in cyber-bullying.

The survey, conducted jointly by the Association of School and College Leaders – which represents secondary school heads – and the National Children’s Bureau – also reported that nearly eight out of 10 schools (nearly 80%) reported an increase in the number of pupils self-harming or having suicidal thoughts.

At the same time as mental health problems were increasing, nearly two-thirds of schools (65%) reported that it was becoming more difficult to access mental health care from local services.

Malcolm Trobe, acting general secretary of ASCL, reported

Our survey shows a serious gap in mental health services beyond the school gates. The fact is children today face an extraordinary range of pressures.  They live in a world of enormously high expectations, where new technologies present totally new challenges such as  cyber-bullying. There has seldom been a time when specialist mental health care is so badly needed and yet it often appears to be the poor relation of the health service.

Early intervention is essential before problems become entrenched and start to increase in severity. These services are a vital lifeline that many young people cannot do without.”

The survey’s findings were supported this week by mental health campaigners with Lucie Russell, director of campaign at the mental health charity Young Minds saying:

We shouldn’t underestimate the huge amount of pressure young people today face: family breakdown, stress at school, body image issues, early sexualisation, 24/7 online networking, bullying on and offline and uncertainty about the future after school are all piling on the stress.

To make matters worse when young people are struggling it can be extremely difficult for them to get the support they need.”

She added that services were ”a postcode lottery with unacceptably long waiting times in many areas.“

Anna Feuchtwang, chief executive of the NCB, added:

It is alarming that teachers are seeing ever-growing numbers of children self-harming or having suicidal thoughts.  For these young people, and many others like them, their psychological states are almost too much to bear.

While schools are doing their best to help, in cases where children are in acute need they require specialist mental health services to step in and provide support. Unfortunately, teachers say that limited capacity in these services often makes referrals very difficult.”

The survey’s evidence comes on top of concerns expressed by the Commons select committee of health that many schools were finding the threshold for triggering action to help pupils was “unreasonably high” .

The results of the survey support concerns that there are worryingly high levels of mental health and well-being issues among young people and that the prevalence of  these issues has increased during the past five years. It is also noted that the prevalence of the relatively new phenomenon of cyber-bullying has significantly increased over that time.”

Victory: Student Wins Censorship Battle Over Lesbian T-Shirt

A student from Manteca, California has settled a federal free speech lawsuit with her high school.

16 year old, Taylor Victor was sent home for refusing to change her T-Shirt, which read “Nobody knows I’m a lesbian”.

When she first wore this shirt to Sierra High School last year, school administrators sent her home. They said it was an inappropriate “on the grounds that she was not allowed to display her ‘sexuality’ on clothing.”

After confirming that the shirt did not violate the dress code, the school then told her that she was not allowed to “display personal choices and beliefs” on clothing because it could be viewed as “disruptive” or “gang-related”.

The Assistant Principal Dan Beukelman also told Victor that her shirt was “promoting sex” and displayed an “open invitation to sex”.

Now, the district has agreed to amend the dress code and clarify that students are allowed to wear clothing supporting their or their classmates’ personal identities. This includes race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation.

Victor’s attorney, Linnea Nelson, said

Being a lesbian is an important part of Taylor’s identity, and she shouldn’t be censored from talking about it at school. Students don’t leave their rights to free speech at the schoolhouse gates. At the end of the day, the law on this is very clear, that public schools can’t censor the personal beliefs of students just because they think it might be controversial.”

She says Victor will also get $1 from the school district to represent the harm she suffered.

But more importantly of course, from now on she will be able to express herself and to be herself without fear of punishment.

Victor said that she is happy after “months of fighting this censorship battle.”

New Study Says Lesbian And Gay Students Are More Likely to Get Pregnant (Confused?)

A new study has revealed that lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students have a higher rate of pregnancy than their heterosexual peers.

Confused? Keep reading.

Dr Lisa Lindley, a professor of global and community health at George Mason University, looked at the sexual orientation of 9,703 New York students – analysing their sexual identity and the gender of sexual partners.

The findings revealed that 23% of reported pregnancies were women who categorised themselves as lesbian, and 20% from those who identified as bisexual.


This is in comparison to a lesser pregnancy rate of 13% in females who identified as heterosexual but had slept with women, and 13% in those who had only ever slept with men.

The results were just as unexpected when it came to the guys.

The study revealed that 28% of gay and bisexual men had got girls pregnant, as had 37% of those who have sex with both men and women, with just 10% of straight men having got a girl pregnant.

According to Dr Lindley, what is key, is educating students of every sexual identity (especially the LGBT community) about birth control methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Sexual orientation should be considered in future adolescent pregnancy-prevention efforts, including the design of pregnancy-prevention interventions.”

Top 10 Stupidest Anti Gay Laws in the USA

Even though same-sex marriage is now legal, the majority of US still has other discrimination laws against LGBT.

Most states do not have nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people in the workplace, public accommodations, or housing, which means you can be sacked for being gay, or refused to rent a home. Many schools across the country still lack enumerated policies that protect LGBT students from bullying and discrimination. Some states go so far as to have “no promo homo” laws in place, which forbid teachers in public schools from even mentioning homosexuality, at least in a positive light.

There is still along way to go LGBT civil rights in the USA.

Watch: 10 Stupidest Anti Gay Laws

Image source – Spc. Sabryna Schlagetter, left, kisses her wife, Cheyenne Schlagetter, after returning home to Fort Carson with about 135 members of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Friday, November 14, 2014. Sabryna and Cheyenne married on Valentines Day in New Mexico nine-months ago, before Sabryna deployed to Afghanistan. Photo by Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette. Click to enlarge.

Sad Fact – Most American States Still Discriminate Against LGBT People

In 37 states plus Washington, D.C. – same-sex couples have the freedom to marry once and for all.

However, the majority of US states do not have nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people in the workplace, public accommodations, or housing. Which means you can be sacked for being gay, refused to rent a home, and discriminated against because of your sexuality.


Many schools across the country still lack enumerated policies that protect LGBT students from bullying and discrimination.

Some states go so far as to have “no promo homo” laws in place, which forbid teachers in public schools from even mentioning homosexuality, at least in a positive light.


71% in the US live in a state where marriage equality exists, but if you watch the video below, it’s clear that LGBT civil rights battles are far from over.

Vandalism At University College London Proves How Necessary LGBT History Month Is

Most people recognise that the the monstrosities of World War 2 should never be repeated. We all know what happened during the Second World War thanks to many history classes on it: the Nazis, as led by Adolf Hitler, tried to achieve world domination and oppressed and murdered millions of people (mostly Jewish people) along the way.

But some of those thrown into concentration camps (prisons where people were forced into hard labour and where some were gassed to death) were put there not because they were Jewish but because they were LGBT. And horrifically, LGBT people who survived the concentration camps were rescued by the allies only to be thrown into prison as homosexuality was still criminalized in many ally countries including England. That’s why it was so unfortunate earlier this month, when some students from the University College London, vandalised an LGBTQ flag with a Swastika.

The banner had been put up as part of national LGBT History Month celebrations that are currently taking place at many colleges in the UK. The banner had only been up for three hours when students drew the deeply offensive graffiti on it.

The UCL Student Union writes in a statement:

“We are sorry to report that within 3 hours of our LGBT+ History Month vinyl banners being put up on the front of the UCL Quad, one of them has been graffitied with an image of a swastika in permanent marker.

The swastika as a symbol is indelibly tainted by its use by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust, an atrocity resulting in the murder of many millions of people, among them tens of thousands of LGBT+ people. Its use as graffiti constitutes a hate crime.

We refuse to be intimidated. We will be continuing to promote LGBT+ History Month widely across campus and celebrating the presence of LGBTQ+ students, staff and visitors at UCL. The incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and will be dealt with seriously.”

While it is good news that UCL is doing it’s bit to stamp this behaviour out – and bring the perpetrators to justice – this incident is just one of many similar occurrences around the UK. UCL student journalist Siobhan Fenton notes on The Telegraph that at Liverpool University one student suffered homophobic abuse only to be told by campus security that “it’s all part of the fun” and that students at Bristol University put up posters warnings their peers that trans* students may rape them.

Given that an estimated 11% of all UK university students identify as LGBTQ, there are over 100,000 students whose lives are being affected by these pockets of ignorance. How universities plan on tackling this serious issue is yet to be seen.

University Challenges: How LGBT Students Suffer

A sobering new survey from the National Union  of Students has found that 1 in 5 LGB students in Britain have been harassed or bullied. The picture is even bleaker for trans students: 1 in 3 of them have suffered abuse on a university campus in the last year.

Almost 4,000 students from 80 different academies participated in the study. Other revelations include the fact that almost 60% of LGBs and a staggering 80% of trans do not feel “completely safe” while at university. Half the trans respondents have seriously thought about dropping out for good, such has been the negativity of their experiences.

The NUS officers responsible for LGB affairs, Finn McGoldrick and Sky Yarlett, said: ‘This research confirms our fears about the impact that isolation, discrimination and coming out has on LGBT students. It’s appalling to hear that LGBT students don’t feel safe in an educational environment and are experiencing bullying just because of who they are.

‘Many LGBT students continue to feel alone in education and society as a whole. Many suffer mental health and financial issues, and all too often we hear cases of LGBT students leaving education altogether as an indirect result of their identity.

‘We can no longer ignore the plight of LGBT students. We absolutely need to enforce zero tolerance policies for homophobic and transphobic behaviour, ‘banter’, and bullying to make sure our campuses are inclusive and that all students, regardless of their sexuality or identity, have a chance to succeed.’

Stonewall’s Head of Education, Luke Tryl, has called upon British universities to take these statistics seriously and ‘implement the recommendations of the report.’ Stonewall is committed to working with the Higher Education system to improve the experience of LGBT students.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has also waded into the debate, calling homophobic abuse ‘always unacceptable and totally wrong.’