© 2023 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Survey: Florida LGBTQ Students Harassed, Assaulted At School

Marsha Halper
Miami Herald
Ninth graders at a Miami Beach high school are shown in this file photo. Middle and high school students in Florida say they've experienced harassment and assault related to their sexual orientation and gender, according to a national report.

Nearly three-quarters of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender middle and high school students in Florida have been verbally harassed at school, and some have experienced physical harassment and assault, according to a biennial national survey that includes data from each state.

Seventy-four percent of LGBTQ students in Florida middle and high schools said they were verbally harassed over their sexual orientation in the last year, GLSEN found in its most recent survey, released on Wednesday.

The group, a nonprofit that advocates for LGBTQ students, surveyed more than 23,000 secondary school students nationwide for the report, including nearly 1,200 in Florida. About 90 percent of the Florida students who participated attend public schools. The survey was conducted in 2017.

Between 10 and 13 percent of the respondents in Florida said they had been physically assaulted at school because of their sexual orientation or gender.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents said they did not report their victimization to school staff, and only a quarter of the students who did report the incidents felt that staff members responded effectively.

GLSEN recommends Florida schools provide professional development to teachers and other staff members on issues that affect LGBTQ students. The group also recommends that schools adopt policies that are supportive of transgender and gender non-conforming students.

You can read a summary of the data from Florida respondents below. Can't see the embed? Go here.

Jessica Bakeman is Director of Enterprise Journalism at WLRN News, and she is the former senior news editor and education reporter. Her 2021 project "Class of COVID-19" won a national Edward R. Murrow Award.
More On This Topic