What Challenges Do Queer Students Face?
How Can Schools Address Challenges Faced by Queer Students?
- Does the staff use chosen names and pronouns?
- Does the dress code account for students of all gender expressions?
- Are options for bathrooms, locker rooms, and other traditionally gendered spaces accessible to and safe for students of all gender identities?
- Who are students allowed to bring as guests to dances?
- Does health and/or sex education include different reproductive options?
- Is safe sex for nonheterosexual relationships covered?
- Are students learning about queer history, including violence and activism?
- Are students learning about the positive contributions of queer people throughout history?
Representation in Community
- Are different family compositions represented in the visuals throughout the school?
- Are different identities incorporated in lessons and word problems?
- What clubs, organizations and/or affinity groups exist for people who have unique identities, beliefs or interests?
- What other social opportunities can be created for those students?
- How can staff undo socialization against queer identities that might have happened at home?
- How can staff educate students to understand that that there isn’t a normal and celebrate differences?
- What actions can be taken to minimize the effects of bullying?
- Do students know where to turn to and feel comfortable asking for help?
- How can the school provide opportunities for students to build their relationships with their families? The community?
- Is the connection between the student and the school being cultivated?
- What systems are in place for identifying students in need of interpersonal support?
- What systems are in place for meeting students’ needs for interpersonal support?
Discrimination Faced by Queer Students in Schools
|Discriminatory Policy or Practice||Percentage of Students|
|Disciplined for public displays of affection that were not disciplined among non-LGBTQ students||31.3%|
|Prevented from wearing clothes considered “inappropriate” based on their legal sex||22.6%|
|Prohibited from discussing or writing about LGBTQ topics in school assignments||18.2%|
|Prohibited from including LGBTQ topics in school extracurricular activities||17.6%|
|Restricted from forming or promoting a gay-straight alliance||14.8%|
|Prevented from attending a dance or function with someone of the same gender||11.7%|