Report highlights advocacy opportunity to support building inclusive environments for LGBTQ+ students
June 29 (New York) – Despite continually increasing public support for LGBTQ+ rights, teachers still feel that their LGTBQ+ students are not being supported at school. They report that of all subgroups of students, LGBTQ+ students are least likely to have their needs met at school, according to a new report released today by Educators for Excellence, a non-profit, non-partisan organization. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) teachers are even less likely to believe their school is meeting the needs of LGBTQ+ students, with only six percent of these teachers, compared to 22 percent of all teachers, reporting that their school often meets this subgroup’s needs.
“Voices from the Classroom - Leveraging Teachers’ Perspectives and Federal Opportunities to Build Inclusive Environments for LGBTQ+ Students” additionally finds that when asked about a series of 14 different topics—including the Civil War, racial inequality in America today, and the history and experiences of Latinx people—teachers were least likely to report that students should learn about the history and experiences of LGBTQ+ people. Seventy-one percent of the national sample reported this should be taught, while 94 percent of BIPOC teachers reported the same.
“Because of the culture of fear that’s been created, teachers are afraid to have these conversations with their students,” said Leona Fowler, special education instructional support teacher/site coordinator in Queens, NY. “They have to find subtle ways to bring it up, to challenge gender stereotypes and censorship. But, we don’t have the supports, resources, or curriculum to know how to do that effectively.”
The report also highlights the Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2021 (S.2410/H.R.4402), which would require states to require districts to adopt evidence-based best practices for preventing and responding to bullying and harassment, including of LGBTQ+ students, as one federal opportunity to better support LGBTQ+ students. It directs advocates to contact their legislators to ask them to co-sponsor this bill.
Designed by teachers for teachers, Voices from the Classroom 2022 was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 full-time public school teachers, plus an oversample of 300 BIPOC teachers. The sample reflects the nation’s district and charter public school teachers and aligns with key demographic variables of gender, race/ethnicity, age, and years of teaching experience. The poll was taken in January 2022 during the height of the Omicron variant outbreak of COVID-19. While teachers designed this survey, Gotham Research Group helped ensure it was valid and reliable.
About Educators for Excellence
Founded by public school teachers, Educators for Excellence is a growing movement of more than 33,000 educators, united around a common set of values and principles for improving student learning and elevating the teaching profession. We work together to identify issues that impact our schools, create solutions to these challenges, and advocate for policies and programs that give all students access to a quality education.