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A student wearing a pink hat walks past a bank of bright yellow lockers. At the lockers are four other students, two kneeling, who are opening their lockers or rummaging inside.

The National School Climate Survey is our flagship report on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth in our nation’s schools. Our report includes information on LGBTQ middle and high school students’ experiences with discrimination, biased language, and availability and utility of supportive school resources. We also use this data to create research briefs on school climate in states across the U.S., as well as Puerto Rico.

GLSEN’s Local School Climate Survey is a free online survey tool for students, educators and other advocates to use to collect data on students’ experiences in their local school communities. Results from your survey can be used to advocate for safer and more inclusive programs and policies in your local schools and communities. 

The National School Climate Survey

Progress on safe schools for LGBTQ youth has slowed for the first time in years

The full GLSEN 2017 National School Climate Survey report includes information on LGBTQ middle and high school students’ experiences, including:

  • Hearing biased language, from both students and educators
  • Experiences of harassment and assault
  • Anti-LGBTQ discrimination
  • Effects of a hostile school climate on educational outcomes and psychological well-being
  • The availability and utility of supportive school resources

The survey has consistently indicated that specific school-based resources are related to a safer and more inclusive school climate, including: 

  • Supportive educators
  • LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum
  • Inclusive and supportive policies
  • Supportive student clubs, such as Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs).

For the first time, this installment of GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey also includes insights on: 

  • LGBTQ-inclusive sex education
  • Student activism
  • Parent advocacy
  • Experiences of LGBTQ students with disabilities
  • Experiences of LGBTQ immigrant students.
     

If you have further questions, please contact the GLSEN Research Institute at GLSENresearch@glsen.org 

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TEXT: The 2017 National School Climate Survey; The Experience of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Youth in Our Nation's Schools; A Report from GLSEN; www.glsen.org. This is the cover of GLSEN's 2017 National School Climate Survey. On the cover is an image of an adolescent student in a full classroom holding a pen and staring off into the distance.

 

Downloadable Infographics and Posters 

We have identified several critical topics from the new National School Climate Survey that we are highlighting in a series of infographics and printable posters (8.5 x 11”). Share the images online, or print and display the posters in your classroom, in your office, when tabling at events, or when meeting with policymakers or school officials.

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Header TEXT: Frequency of School Victimization Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression Over Time (Percentage of LGBTQ Students Reporting Event Often or Frequently, Based on Estimated Marginal Means). This is a line graph with a blue header and six magenta and grey lines with nine data points each. The X axis ranges from the years 2001 to 2017. The Y axis ranges from 0% to 50%. A graph legend indicates that magenta lines are for school victimization based on sexual orientation; and grey lines based
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Header TEXT: Availability of LGBTQ-Related School Resources Over Time (Percentage of LGBTQ Students Reporting Resource in School, Accounting for Covariates). This is a line graph with four lines. The legend says that green triangles mean: Many supportive teachers/staff (6 or more); gray rectangles mean: GSA; magenta diamonds mean: positive inclusion of LGBTQ issues in curriculum; purple hollow rectangles on a dotted line mean: Comprehensive anti-bullying policy. The X axis runs from the years 2001 to 2017.

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LGBTQ students in schools with an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum are less likely to feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and gender expression
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Transgender and gender nonconforming students in schools with supportive and inclusive policies face less discrimination and are more engaged in school. They are less likely to be required to use the wrong bathrooms, less likely to be prevented from using their preferred name or pronouns and less likely to miss school. 2017 National School Climate Survey.
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Transgender and gender nonconforming (trans/GNC) youth are experiencing extremely hostile climates in US schools.

 

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Two high school students sit with their legs stretched out against a bank of yellow lockers with post-it notes with names stuck to them. The students are studying their textbooks. One looks over at something on the other's book.

Local School Climate Survey

Conduct Your Own Local School Climate Survey

GLSEN has historically played an important role in obtaining national and state data on school climate. And we look for ways to use our expertise to assist in local data collection efforts. GLSEN’s Local School Climate Survey, which previously existed as a PDF on our website, is now available in a friendly and easy-to-use online format to help you learn about your local area.

GLSEN’s Local School Climate Survey is a free online survey tool for students, educators and other advocates to use to collect data on students’ experiences in their local school communities, such as, bullying, harassment, and bias based on gender, disability, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, gender expression, body type and/or religion. Results from your survey can be used to advocate for safer and more inclusive programs and policies in your local schools and communities. It’s easy to get started - check out our online Local School Climate Survey tool today!

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A smiling educator in front of a classroom calls on a student. Six students at two tables all raise their hands.

State Snapshots

State Snapshots use data from GLSEN's 2017 National School Climate Survey to examine the school experiences of LGBTQ middle and high school students, including hearing biased language, experiences of victimization, incidents of anti-LGBTQ discrimination, and access to resources and supports at school.

Snapshots are available for 41 states and Puerto Rico, each linked at the bottom of this page. This state-specific data allows advocates, educators, administrators, and policymakers, among others, to evaluate school climate in their individual state, and to advocate for safer and more inclusive school environments for LGBTQ students across the nation, including LGBTQ-supportive school policies, LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum, and more.

State Snapshots feature state-level data drawn from GLSEN’s biennial National School Climate Survey. Begun in 1999, the survey is the only survey of its kind, documenting the experiences of LGBTQ youth in schools, including the extent of the challenges that they face and their access to the school-based resources that support their educational success and well-being.