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School Climate Not Good For LGBT Students In Ohio

The Human Rights Campaign marches at Columbus gay pride in 2007.
F. Tronchin
Flickr/Creative Commons

A new survey says Ohio schools are still unsafe for a majority of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students. The biennial National School Climate Survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) finds just 4 percent of Ohio students say their schools have a policy protecting them from bullying or harassment based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

 Kevin Mabrey with GLSEN Greater Dayton says Ohio hasn’t improved much in the last two years.

“We are going to be working on a local and state level at getting stronger enumerated anti-bullying policies put into our schools,” Mabrey said. “We are looking to do gay-straight alliances in middle schools which will help promote respect throughout the school system.”

Nearly 73 percent of LGBT students responding to the survey said they have been verbally harassed at school, and 88 percent say they regularly hear remarks they consider homophobic.  

Also this week, the city of Dayton got its first rating from the Human Rights Campaign as an equality-friendly city, ranking third in the state after Columbus and Cincinnati. It got a high score, 95 out of 100, due to having anti-discrimination policies and city recognition of same-sex relationships, among other factors.