Join Western Justice Center/ENCOMPASS in our first #GivingTuesday Campaign
Did you ever feel unsafe, harassed, or socially isolated at school? At one point or another, nearly all of us did. Unfortunately, LGBTQ students are almost twice as likely to endure bullying—both at school and online. Research suggests that this takes a real toll: Victims of anti-LGBTQ bullying earn lower grades, skip school more often, have poorer mental health, and are more likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and use drugs. A study conducted by the CDC in 2015 found that more than 40% of sexual minority students have seriously considered suicide and a 29% reported attempting suicide in the past year.
Teachers are in an ideal position to change these statistics, but they rarely step up at the moments that matter most. According to a national study conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), 50% of teachers report having never taken any steps to support LGBTQ student safety, even though the vast majority of teachers say it is their responsibility to ensure supportive learning environments for these students. Too few teachers have the necessary training to effectively intervene. With the right tools, teachers can stand up to homophobic bullying and help build safer, more inclusive schools.
ENCOMPASS/Western Justice Center believes that LGBTQ youth deserve access to learning environments in which they can thrive—socially, emotionally, and academically. For over a decade, we have offered cutting-edge training programs that empower California educators to make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ youth. Our Creating-Bias Free Classrooms program uses live, improvisational theater to equip educators to build inclusive learning environments for students targeted by homophobia. Staffed by anti-bullying experts, this dynamic training workshop transports teachers into a realistic classroom laboratory—brought to life by trained high school student actors—in which teachers try out new anti-bullying strategies and build the confidence to create safer schools.
Help stop homophobic bullying by giving teachers the tools they need.