This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 12 °C Friday 6 December, 2019
Advertisement

Half of LGBT+ students have heard homophobic or transphobic comments from staff members at school

73% of LGBT+ students surveyed said they feel unsafe at school.

Meg North from Mount Temple Comprehensive School pictured for BeLonG To's Stand Up Awareness Week which is taking place this week.
Meg North from Mount Temple Comprehensive School pictured for BeLonG To's Stand Up Awareness Week which is taking place this week.
Image: Maxwells Dublin

ROUGHLY 50% OF LGBT+ students said they have heard homophobic or transphobic remarks from teachers and other staff members at school, according to a new survey.

The 2019 School Climate Survey was published today by LGBT+ charity BeLonG To. The results indicate that 73% of LGBT+ students surveyed feel unsafe at school, with almost half saying this is because of their sexual orientation. 

48% of students surveyed said they heard homophobic remarks and 55% reported hearing transphobic remarks from teachers and other staff members at school. 

CEO of BeLonG To Youth Services Moninne Griffith said this study should act as a “wakeup call” for government officials, schools and students to take immediate action on this issue. 

“Despite misconceptions, growing up LGBTI+ isn’t all rainbows post-the marriage equality referendum. Our findings indicate the intense discrimination, harassment, isolation and stigma that LGBTI+ students experience in Ireland,” said Griffith. 

Worse still, the research reveals that some staff members turn a blind eye to, and sometimes even contribute, anti-LGBTI+ remarks.

The report was launched today to celebrate a decade of Stand Up Awareness Week which began yesterday in secondary schools around the country and will continue over the next few days. The week invites people to take a stand against LGBT+ bullying. 

‘They outed me to everyone. It was horrible.’

34% of LGBT+ students in the survey said they avoided bathrooms due to safety concerns and over 85% said they felt deliberately excluded by peers. 

In anonymous responses to the survey, some students described their situations at school. 

“I told my friends I was gay in first year and they outed me to everyone. It was horrible. People scribbled slurs on my photos around the school and wrote a slur on my locker in marker. I told my teacher and she basically told me I shouldn’t have come out then, as if it was my choice in the first place,” one student said.

“I was physically and verbally harassed while I was in school based on my sexual orientation and because I was more masculine than other girls,” another anonymous student said. 

Seven in 10 said they weren’t taught anything positive about LGBT+ identities in school.  

The study also found that around 77% of LGBT+ students experience verbal harrassment, 38% experience physical harassment and 11% experience physical assault due to their sexual orientation or gender expression. 

Over two-thirds of LGBT students said they hear anti-LGBT+ remarks from other students and one-third feel that other students aren’t accepting of LGBT+ identities. 

The students are also 27% more likely to miss school and 8% less likely to pursue third-level education. However, almost all of the students in the study had identified at least one staff member at school who was supportive of LGBT+ students.

788 students aged between 13 and 20 were included from every county in the Republic of Ireland in the study conducted online by BeLonG To Youth Services and Columbia University. 

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

Read next:

COMMENTS (124)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel