With the recent news about the 4th death of a young person due to bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation all of us need to be mindful of the words we hear around us. Words like gay, fag and queer are hurtful and hateful. Words like these are frequently heard in our hallways, classrooms and cafeteria. No wonder students who are questioning or gay find schools unsafe. Read the following from the “Think before you speak” site http://www.thinkb4youspeak.com/GetInformed/
The rate at which students use and hear negative language about lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people is huge. Over half of all students report hearing homophobic remarks often at school.
The common use of anti-LGBT language is directly related to an even bigger problem – the bullying and harassment of LGBT students.
9 out of 10 LGBT students report being harassed at school in the last year. Over one-third of LGBT students have been physically assaulted at school because of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
Such frequent harassment results in LGBT students being more likely than others to:
- Feel unsafe
- Miss school
- Receive lower grades
- Not attend college
Creating a safe environment for all students – LGBT and straight alike – begins with one simple act: thinking before you speak.
A lot of anti-LGBT language is said carelessly, and isn’t intended as negative or hurtful. Understand what you’re saying, and think about the potential consequences of the words you choose.