Department of Education to include gender identity in national bullying and hate crimes survey

(David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

NLGBTQ Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey

The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics has announced it will include gender identity in the 2016 School Survey on Crime and Safety.

The survey, which already includes sexual orientation in its data, examines bullying and hate crimes in the nation’s schools.

LGBT youth, especially transgender and gender nonconforming students, are more likely to be bullied and harassed than their peers. According to the Human Rights Campaign, LGB youth are twice as likely to experience bullying than their heterosexual peers. The numbers are higher for transgender and gender nonconforming youth compared to their cisgender and LGB peers.

“The new language in the School Survey on Crime and Safety will help protect LGBTQ students from bullying and harassment and will allow us to better understand the challenges they face. Reliable data on what motivates bullying and hate crimes will help educators and lawmakers prevent harassment and violence that disproportionately affect LGBTQ students,” said Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force. “We thank the Department of Education for its work to prevent anti-LGBTQ bullying in schools and look forward to continuing to work with President Obama and the administration.”

 

—  James Russell

White House bullying conference set

According to an e-mail sent this afternoon from the office of the White House press secretary, President Barack Obama, the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services will be hosting a Conference on Bullying Prevention at the White House on Thursday, March 10. The conference will include “students, parents, teachers and others” from “communities from across the nation who have been affected by bullying as well as those who are taking action to address it.”

The announcement said participants will have the chance to talk to the president and “representatives from the highest levels of his administration” on how to work together to prevent bullying.

—  admin

U.S. Department of Education warns schools that anti-gay bullying can violate civil rights laws

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

“It Gets Better” has been a success. Videos and public appearances by people like Councilman Joel Burns led to videos by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

A transgender North Dallas High School student’s attempt to run for homecoming queen ended with a rally of support at her school as well as an appearance on MTV.

Many young people have gotten the message but so have school districts and even the U.S. Department of Education.

The education department announced Tuesday that school districts that do nothing to combat bullying will lose money. The letter said the guidelines “do include protection against harassment of members of religious groups based on shared ethnic characteristics as well as gender and sexual harassment of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender individuals.”

The announcement also said that the White House will convene a conference on bullying early next year.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said:

“Bullying is a problem that shouldn’t exist. No one should ever feel harassed or unsafe in a school simply because they act or think or dress differently than others. To every student who feels threatened or harassed—for whatever reason—please know that you are not alone. Please know that there are people who love you. And please know that we will protect you.”

—  David Taffet