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Survey: California’s LGBT Students Feel Unsafe

Evening Edition

Above: A survey of California's LGBT students reveals many feel unsafe due to high levels of harassment and anti-gay slurs from students and staff.

Aired 3/26/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUESTS:

Colin Pearce, GLSEN, SD chapter (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network)

David Lyons, Jump-Start Adult Coordinator, GLSEN San Diego

Joey, San Diego high school student

Transcript

The climate of acceptance is changing for LGBT students in California's High schools and middle schools....but it's not changing fast enough. In a recent survey, the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network, (GLSEN) finds LGBT students in California are facing high levels of harassment based on their sexual orientation or gender expression and are regularly hearing anti-gay slurs from students and staff.

What type of grade would San Diego county schools receive? Colin Pearce with the San Diego chapter of GLSEN says while schools have anti-bullying policies in place he would still give them an "incomplete." He tells KPBS the programs and resources in place need to be part of the core curriculum, not separate from it.

Joey, a 15-year-old San Diego high school student who is gay, says he was upset after hearing students in the locker room use anti-gay slurs. But, he says, it was more upsetting when teachers did nothing to stop it. The teen now heads the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) at his school helping other LGBT students feel empowered.

Video

GLSEN-Teach Respect

Above: GLSEN: Teach Respect

Comments

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 26, 2013 at 11:46 a.m. ― 1 year, 8 months ago

I feel unsafe walking around the streets of downtown and I'm not even gay.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 26, 2013 at 1:57 p.m. ― 1 year, 8 months ago

I'm glad this is being covered here. With the "new wave" of acceptance for equality and all the attention on gay marriage and American's shift in favor of this, it might be easy for some to forget that LGBT youth still face terrible discrimination that can lead to depression, suicide, bullying, and in extreme cases even murder as we saw with Matthew Shepard.

It's a serious problem that shouldn't be ignored.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | March 26, 2013 at 4:09 p.m. ― 1 year, 8 months ago

@JEAN MARC, you mean like on a Saturday night in Gastramp Quarter?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | March 26, 2013 at 4:16 p.m. ― 1 year, 8 months ago

In my nine and a half years as an instructional assistant in a classroom, not ONCE have I heard anti-gay slurs--much less witnessed any anti-gay intimidation, harassment or violence. That also goes for outside the classroom on campus. Maybe the fact that it is in Chula Vista has something to do with it, I don't know.

As far as Mr. Pearce's "incomplete," I suppose NOTHING will EVER be good enough for the militants. I wonder what his background is and what other groups he belongs too, etc.

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