Homophobia is a problem in many public and private school systems, denying homosexual students a safe learning environment. Everyday a student is discriminated against because of his sexual orientation.
Gay, lesbian and bisexual students are being verbally, physically, and academically abused. Homophobia is taking hard working students and creating a negative and damaging learning environment for them. It’s time for a change. Words like “faggot, queer, homo, fairy and dyke” have become common “insults” in today’s school systems.These words are unacceptable, yet time and time again I observe teachers doing nothing when they hear said words being used. If however I were to use a racial slur such as “nigger” I would be immediately reprimanded and possibly disciplined. Discriminating against someone because of who they love is inexcusable.
Schools NEED to do something to combat this growing problem, Girard may have an anti-bullying program instituted but what does it really do to combat it? Nothing. They preach equality, but do they enforce it?No. Instead of instituting programs to teach equality, punishments must be given out. Instead of being passive, schools should be aggressive in defending the victims of all forms of bullying. Students who identify themselves as “gay” are up to five times more likely to miss school due to feeling unsafe, 28% of them are forced to drop out. And yet school administrations do nothing about it. In fact 85% of teachers actually oppose integrating lesbian, gay and bisexual themes in their curricula.
Frighteningly A 2007 survey found that four out of five young lesbian and gay people have no access to any information about LGBT issues at school. There are many different ways in which LGBT people experience homophobia, including malicious gossip, name-calling, intimidating looks, internet bullying, vandalism and theft of property, discrimination at work, isolation and rejection, sexual assault, or even being sentenced to death. All forms of homophobia are destructive, not just for people living openly as LGBT, but for society as a whole.Living in a homophobic environment forces many LGBT people to conceal their sexuality, for fear of the negative reactions and consequences of coming out. For people who have been brought up to believe that homosexuality is wrong, the realization that they might be gay can cause feelings of shame and self-loathing, leading to low self-esteem. Suppressing homosexuality involves denying an important part of a person’s identity, and can have a serious impact upon their life and relationships. Furthermore, the dilemma of whether to ‘come out’ or not can cause a great deal of personal distress.