(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.”