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Reuters: More U.S. schools offering safe spaces for LGBTQ youth


Compared to their heterosexual peers, LGBTQ youth are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, experience bullying and violence, and attempt suicide, according to a new study. Experts believe that having resources available may help reduce these risks, and the number of schools providing support such as safe spaces and anti-harrassment policies has increased.

By Lisa Rapaport

A growing number of U.S. schools are offering safe spaces for ‘tweens and adolescents who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) and prohibiting harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity, a U.S. study suggests.

About 62 percent of middle schools and high schools had a counselor’s office, designated classroom or student organization where LGBTQ youth could get support from administrators, teachers or other school staff in 2014, up from 51 percent in 2010, the study found.

And just over 90 percent of schools had anti-harassment policies by 2014, up from 88 percent in 2010.

LGBTQ youths have disproportionately higher risk in physical and mental health than their straight peers. A school environment that provides more support for LGBTQ youths could potentially reduce the stress due to social stigma, discrimination and marginalization.
Hongying Dai, researcher at Children’s Mercy Hospital

Read the full article via Reuters.

Learn more about the Children's Research Institute at Children's Mercy. 

Learn more about the Gender Pathway Services at Children's Mercy.

Find information about bullying through the Health and Safety Resources at Children's Mercy.