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Puerto Rico LGBTQ Youth Crisis

By Charlotte Robinson, September 04, 2017
A new report released by GLSEN entitled "The Puerto Rico School Climate Survey" provides the first-ever empirical data addressing LGBTQ youth on their school experiences in Puerto Rico. For a distressing number of LGBTQ students in Puerto Rico, schools are hostile environments. The overwhelming majority of LGBTQ students routinely hear anti-LGBTQ language & experience victimization & discrimination at school. As a result the majority of LGBTQ students in Puerto Rico felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation or gender expression. When LGBTQ students feel unsafe or uncomfortable in school it negatively affects students’ academic potential, with the majority of LGBTQ youth in Puerto Rico having avoided school activities & more than one third have missed school in the past month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable. Noreen Giga, GLSEN's Senior Research Associate stated, “GLSEN’s research on LGBTQ youth experiences in Puerto Rico confirms what educators & LGBTQ youth have been saying for years: LGBTQ youth can’t learn in schools where harassment & discrimination are tolerated. It’s not surprising that the majority of LGBTQ students do not have an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum in their school today, but it’s encouraging to see that students who do have inclusive curriculum are less likely to hear anti-LGBTQ remarks in their schools.” Since 1999 GLSEN has been conducting the "National School Climate Survey" to document the unique challenges LGBTQ students in the 50 states & DC face & identify interventions that can improve school climate. In their 2015 installment, they conducted the survey in Puerto Rico in response to a growing interest there in having data on the school experiences of LGBTQ youth.
Read Full Report…
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