The first survey of its kind “Playgrounds and Prejudice: Elementary School Climate in the United States” revealed that homophobia is pervasive in elementary schools and most teachers do little to intervene.
At this age, bullies use words to attack those who are different, but if not curtailed early, warn advocates, verbal teasing turns to violence at the middle school and high school level.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) examined homophobia and gender nonconformity among 1,065 students in grades 3 to 6 and 1,099 teachers in grades K to 6.
The survey found an estimated 45 percent of students and 49 percent of teachers said that the word “gay” was most often used in a negative way, for example, “That’s so gay.”
Only 24 percent of teachers report having personally engaged in efforts to create a safe and supportive environment for families with LGBT parents, even though nearly half of them regularly heard students making homophobic remarks.
Continue reading the full article here.