The LGBT students in the Toledo area need a support network that will help them overcome instances of bullying and discrimination from their peers and teachers. It will also provide them a place to go to discuss issues that are bothering like coming out to friends and family. We need to show the students in the Toledo Public Schools that there are people out there that care about them and that want to help. The Secretary of Education has even come forward to express support for school systems to start, support, and allow GSA's. Here are some facts from GLSEN's School Climate Report for Ohio Schools:
- LGBT students in Ohio most commonly heard homophobic, sexist and negative remarks about gender expression.
- Nearly all heard “gay” used in a negative way (e.g., “that’s so gay”) and more than 9 in 10 heard other homophobic remarks (e.g., “fag” or “dyke”) regularly at school
- Many also experienced physical harassment and physical assault: about 1 in 3 was physically harassed (e.g., pushed or shoved) because of the way they expressed their gender
and about 1 in 4 was physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) because of their sexual orientation
- The majority experienced verbal harassment (e.g., called names or threatened): about 9 in 10 because of their sexual orientation and 7 in 10 because of the way they expressed their gender
We ask that the TPS School Board at least perform the Local School Climate Survey to determine how safe our schools are.