During National Bullying Prevention Month, supporters of anti-bullying are asked to wear blue or orange shirts while efforts are made to educate the public. Started in 2006 by PACER’s National Center for Bullying Prevention, it was expanded in 2010 following a string of suicides among LGBTQ youth. National Bullying Prevention Month seeks to address the issues facing students, who are victims. It specifically addresses those who identify as gay, bisexual or transgender.
This year, an influential survey of 10,000 LGBTQ students by a human rights group, discovered there are a multitude of challenges facing these students. Some of the findings are:
54% of LGBTQ youth claim verbal harassment
28% of LGBTQ youth have been assaulted
58% of LGBTQ youth were excluded from activities for being different
47% of LGBTQ youth feel they do not fit into their community
37% of LGBTQ youth say they are happy while 67% of non-LGBTQ say they are happy
LGBTQ say they hear more positive messages from the internet, film, music and TV and almost no positive messages from community leaders, elected officials, and religious leaders. Teachers, community leaders and parents should set an example for those in their community to follow. Bullying in any form should not be tolerated.
Margit Miller/ Staff Writer/ Editor