Khalil M. California

LGBT Youth in Schools

The struggle for equal rights has not yet ended. Discrimination against youth based on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools is one of many obstacles in the way of equality.

Dear Future President,

I am writing this letter about an issue that hurts this great nation. LGBT youth are one of the most targeted groups in America. They face injustice and hate daily just because of who they are. In fact, LGBT youth are four times as likely to attempt suicide than straight youth. This statistic cannot go unnoticed. The hate that queer youth face everyday is simply a result of attitude. To shift this attitude, changes need to be made to help LGBT kids feel more secure in schools.

When gay students are bullied because of who they are, it isn’t bullying anymore; it’s harassment. This harassment needs to be treated differently. However, in many schools, this harassment is just ignored. 49 states have anti-bullying laws, but only 14 of them include protection based specifically on sexual orientation or gender identity. This loophole can allow school authorities to refrain from punishing students who bully their LGBT peers. This is why LGBT youth are found to be harassed twice as much as the average student in school.

The current treatment of these youth needs to be changed. Simple steps can be made to help change the attitude in schools. Firstly, the topic of LGBT should be incorporated into the curriculum of health classes in schools. This can help schools normalize the concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity. Another step that should be taken is including protection of LGBT youth in anti-bullying laws. Lastly, more resources should be provided to LGBT youth so that they may feel more comfortable with their identity. If these three simple changes were to be implemented, discrimination of the LGBT community would indeed decrease. Though the attitude of people will not shift immediately, it will be taking a step in the right direction.

Best Regards, A Concerned Student