Sunday 17 October 2021

LGBT school pupils are more likely to be bullied by teachers: report

Photo: DutchNews.nl

Around a quarter of LGBT school pupils who face bullying at school are actually harassed by teachers and other school staff rather than their classmates, according to research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The report, based on a survey of almost 30,000 pupils at 136 secondary schools in the Netherlands, also found that Lhbti+ pupils are less comfortable than their straight peers with reporting incidents to their parents or teachers. Instead, they are more likely to tell the police or the school janitor.

Children in the survey, which took place between 2016 and 2018, had an average age of 14.

The survey found that 13% of children who described themselves as heterosexual were bullied, but that rose to between 25% and 33% among LGBT children. Some 14% of heterosexual children said they were bullied by teachers, compared with 24% of LGBTchildren.

‘Strikingly, our findings point to a group of perpetrators—teachers and other adults— often not included or targeted in (preventive) intervention strategies, but who are responsible for providing support and a safe school climate for all,’ the report said.

‘While troubling on its own, teachers’ behaviour also sends a message to adolescents that such behaviour is acceptable in the school.’

Researcher Tessa Kaufman told Trouw that she did not think the data was too old, even though there is more discussion about gender at the moment. ‘The gender debate can mean there is more acceptance, but also more polarization,’ she said. ‘And I do not think this problem has been solved in the meantime.’

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