As we have been taught to respect races, ethnicities and religions, respect for LGBT people is equally as important of an issue to be addressed, especially in early school years.
A safe, healthy and violent-free school environment should be provided to all students. An alarming statistic that holds true to many individuals, who call this type of violence normative, is that 76% of LGBT youth reported that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues were never discussed or addressed in their class.[i] More specifically, it is important to provide LGBT-related resources for students, and make them readily available in schools. Research shows that having an LGBT-support organization in school helps them to live better and feel better. 8 Schools could establish written policies that protect students from discrimination and harassment. Educational programs are in a distinctive position to affect not only students and teachers, but also have the ability to educate the school's community.[ii]
Beyond education, it is vial to make statistics of violence toward this demographic know to the public. Without documents and statistics that speak to the prevalence of violence toward these individuals, there is less justification for legislation to respond. Further research is needed on an array of topics related to this issue, such as a victim's hesitation to report an act of violence, the long-term affects of hate crimes on a society and tactics educators can employ to combat alarming GLBT-related statistics on their own campus.
[i] Lee, C. (2002, February/March). The impact of belonging to a high school Gay/Straight Alliance. High School Journal, 85(3). 13(14).