Friday, May 13, 2011

National survey on homophobia in Canadian schools

Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, a national [Canada] organization that conducts research and delivers educational programming on LGBT human rights in Canada, has just released the first ever survey exploring homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in Canadian schools: Every Class in Every School: The first national climate survey on homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in Canadian schools. Final Report - May 2011.

The survey found (taken from a Toronto Star article on the survey):
  • 64 per cent of queer students and 61 per cent with queer parents feel unsafe at school;
  • 21 per cent of queer students report physical harassment/assault;
  • 27 per cent of queer students report physical harassment about their parents’ sexual orientation and 37 per cent report verbal harassment;
  • Transgender youth “are highly visible targets of harassment” who “may report experiencing particularly high levels of harassment on the basis of perceived sexual orientation” the report says;
  • About 10 per cent of heterosexual teens report being physically harassed or assaulted for their “perceived” sexual orientation;
  • 58 per cent of heterosexual teens “find homophobic comments upsetting.” Researchers said that suggests there is a lot of common ground to help push for an improved school climate.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

School safety report...some surprising findings

A report released by the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago on the safety of their public schools, Student and Teacher Safety in Chicago Public Schools: The Roles of Community Context and School Social Organization, finds that the best predictor of whether students and teachers feel safe is the quality of relationships inside the school building.

The report "finds that while schools in high-poverty, high-crime neighborhoods tend to be less safe than other schools, students’ level of academic achievement actually plays a bigger role in school safety than a school’s neighborhood. Furthermore, even in high-poverty, high-crime neighborhoods, the quality of relationships among adults and students at a school can turn one school into a safe haven while another languishes as a center of violence." (Education Week)