Survey finds inhospitable climate for Georgia’s LGBTQ students

Hostility toward transgender and gay students remains a problem in Georgia schools, according to the results of the latest annual survey by an ad LGBTQ advocacy group.

"The vast majority of LGBTQ students in Georgia regularly heard anti-LGBTQ remarks," says a statement from GLSEN, the organization behind the new National School Climate Survey.

Eighty four percent of LGBTQ students reported regularly hearing homophobic remarks, and 70 percent reported regularly hearing negative remarks about transgender people, the group says, with about one in four reporting homophobic remarks from staff.

Most reported verbal harassment based on sexual orientation and gender expression to survey, but most didn’t report these same incidents to school staff. Many described discriminatory behavior, such as disciplinary actions for the kinds of public displays of affection that went unpunished among non-LGBTQ students.

“This research makes clear that many LGBTQ students in Georgia are facing hostile environments that lack many of the resources that make their schools safe spaces for them to attend,” Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN, said in an emailed statement. Georgia leaders must prioritize the safety and well-being of these students with “inclusive and affirming” policies and practices, Byard said.

The group broke down the results at the state level for most states, including Georgia.