Research

Our staff have explored LGBTQ issues in education and the impact of bullying on school climate for nearly 20 years.

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Our Commitment to Research

We all want to help schools become safe, respectful communities, but how do we know where to start? What are the challenges that students and educators face? What works best to address those challenges?

GLSEN has been conducting research and evaluation on LGBTQ issues in K-12 education since 1999. Our research staff members are nationally recognized experts, trusted by safe schools advocates and researchers alike to provide the facts about our national school climate. Our research has helped to:

  • Motivate legislators to act on the challenges that LGBTQ students face in their home states.
  • Alert principals and other administrators why Gender and Sexuality Alliances, enumerated policies and other resources are so important to creating safe and respectful school communities.
  • Educate students and school staff about LGBTQ student experiences of bullying and harassment.
  • Identify and promote best practices and resources for creating safe and affirming schools.
  • Develop evidence for LGBTQ-affirming action through research in partnership with other organizations internationally

Our research and resources can empower you to make your community’s schools safer, more respectful, and more inclusive for LGBTQ youth.

Please review our other research and resources below.

Reports and Briefs

Our national reports examine many aspects of school safety, including LGBTQ student discipline, elementary school students’ and teachers’ experiences, and interactions between LGBTQ parents and school staff. Our state and local reports examine the experiences of LGBTQ students in selected areas, using available data from reports such as the National School Climate Survey. The Research Institute also conducts evaluations to assess the effectiveness of GLSEN programs and recommended resources. Learn more about our research reports and briefs.

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The National School Climate Survey

20 years of data show that school supports and resources can make a difference for LGBTQ youth.

The GLSEN 2019 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).

As the 11th installment of GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey, this report also includes greater insight into how LGBTQ student experiences have changed over the past 20 years, including: 

  • The emergence of LGBTQ identity terms over time
  • Discrimination among transgender students over time
  • Racist events among LGBTQ students of color over time
  • LGBTQ immigrant students' feelings of safety regarding citizenship status over time

The report also includes, for the first time, greater insights into LGBTQ students' experiences with GSAs, including GSA activities and why some LGBTQ students choose not to attend.

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

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Cover of The 2019 National School Climate Survey research report. The cover photo features three students marching in the 2019 World Pride parade, with their fists in the air. The student on the right is wearing a transgender pride flag, and the center student is wearing a jacket with a rainbow on the back and a Keith Haring illustration of a brown fist in a broken handcuff below the word Resist! in rainbow letters.
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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 20109 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 40 states. 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. 

Our International Work

GLSEN has long been a leader in the movement to make schools safer and more inclusive for LGBT students in the US, and we are committed to supporting a similar mission worldwide. GLSEN staff are recognized as international champions and pioneers of LGBT issues in education and have spoken on their importance across the globe. Our current efforts include:

  • Creating an international network of scholars and advocates to make the world safer for LGBT youth.
  • Partnering with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote awareness of gender- and sexuality-based bullying worldwide.
  • Continuing to support and provide technical expertise to other NGOs to develop research capacity to foster safe schools movements around the globe, including Canada, China, Ireland, Israel, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
  • Comparing the educational experiences of LGBT youth around the world.
     

Our Newest Research

Type
School Climate Survey
Research, Reports, and Briefs
Identity Topic
Asian and Pacific Islander LGBTQ Students
Black LGBTQ Students
Indigenous LGBTQ Students
Latinx LGBTQ Students
Gender Non Conforming ​​​​​​​(GNC) Student
Transgender Students
LGBTQ Students with ​​​​​​​Disabilities
Nonbinary Students
Students of Color
Schools nationwide are hostile environments for a distressing number of LGBTQ+ students, the overwhelming majority of whom routinely hear anti-LGBTQ+ language and experience victimization and discrimination at school.
Type
Research, Reports, and Briefs
Identity Topic
LGBTQ+ Students
Knowledge, Beliefs, and Practice of Teacher Educators on LGBTQ Issues
Type
Research, Reports, and Briefs
Identity Topic
Transgender Students
Nonbinary Students
Black LGBTQ Students
This brief focuses solely on the school experiences of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) LGBTQ students in secondary schools in the U.S.
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Bonnie Washick

Federal Policy Manager
Pronouns: She/Her

Bonnie Washick

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Tessa J. Juste

State and Local Policy Manager
Pronouns: She/Her

Tessa J. Juste

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Jade deShong-Logan

Sr. Operations Manager
Pronouns: She/Her

Jade deShong-Logan

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Caitlin Clark, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate
Pronouns: She/Her

Caitlin Clark, Ph.D.

Caitlin (or Caitie) has a PhD in Developmental Psychology with a portfolio in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She has experience teaching, evaluating, and conducting research in schools of all levels. Caitie’s research specialties include the experiences of transgender and nonbinary youth, LGBTQ+ youth in sports, and elementary education. Before GLSEN, Caitie worked as an Evaluation Analyst at the Austin Independent School District and she has taught at the undergrad and preschool level. Outside of work Caitie loves live music, attempting complicated and new recipes, and women’s soccer.

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Joseph Kosciw, Ph.D.

Director of Research
Pronouns: He/Him

Joseph Kosciw, Ph.D.

Dr. Joseph Kosciw is Director of the GLSEN Research Institute. GLSEN is recognized worldwide as an innovative leader in the education, youth development and civil rights sectors fighting to end bias-based bullying, violence and discrimination in K-12 schools and promote a culture of respect for all. For nearly two decades, the GLSEN Research Institute has supported the organization's mission by conducting original research on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression in K-12 education and evaluating GLSEN programs and initiatives. The Institute also provides technical assistance to local GLSEN chapters and other safe school advocates in the U.S. who wish to conduct research on LGBTQ student experiences, and houses GLSEN's international initiatives which provide technical assistance to NGO and education leaders on LGBT issues in education across the globe.

Dr. Kosciw has a Ph.D. in Community Psychology from New York University, a B.A. in Psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences and an M.S.Ed. in Psychological Services in Education from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Kosciw trained as a family therapist and has worked as a school counselor and psychoeducational consultant in elementary and secondary schools. He has been conducting community-based research for over 20 years, including program evaluations for non-profit service organizations and for local government. Under his leadership, GLSEN Research focuses on understanding the school experiences of all students, specifically as they are related to issues regarding sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, the school experiences of LGBT parents, perceptions of educators and school administrators regarding school climate, and the utility of school- and community-based efforts regarding bullying and harassment and efforts to create safe and affirming learning environments. GLSEN’s research is widely used for education policy advocacy as well as commonly cited in public media regarding LGBT student issues and school safety.

Kosciw’s work has been published in diverse scholarly and practitioner journals, including the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, the Journal of School Violence, and the Prevention Researcher. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of LGBT Youth: The Interdisciplinary Quarterly of Practice, Research, Policy, and Theory. He has also appeared on numerous national television and radio programs as an expert on LGBT student experiences.

In addition to his passions for community-based research, Dr. Kosciw is passionate about dogs, Eurovision, and Ukrainian pop music.

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Stephan Peters

Accounting Manager
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Stephan Peters

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Ashley Dinan

Senior Accounting Manager
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Ashley Dinan

Ashley joined GLSEN in 2005 as a Finance Associate to support the accounting processes of the GLSEN National Office and Chapter Network. Ashley's work in the non-profit sector began at the Huntington's Disease Society of America as the Chapter Operations Coordinator, working similarly with both the National Office and Chapter Network. Prior to that, Ashley has held positions at Credit Lyonnais and served as a legal clerk.

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Onyx Ewa

Youth Programs Associate
Pronouns: They/Them

Onyx is a multi-talented artist, activist, writer, and model who dreams of using art to amplify their voice and produce positive social change. They were named GLSEN's Student Advocate of the Year in 2019 due to their work with GSAs and GSA coalitions. In their free time, they enjoy making clothes, reading, and playing classical guitar. They are now a student at Harvard University, a Point Foundation Scholar, and a GLAAD/Teen Vogue 20 Under 20 Honoree.

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Michael Rady

Rainbow Library Program Manager
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Michael Rady

Michael Rady (he/him) is a queer educator, organizer, and reader. Michael believes radical transformation is needed in American education to deliver equity for all learners, especially BIPOC students and LGBTQ+ students. Before joining GLSEN, Michael was a third-grade teacher, curriculum writer, and Senate education policy staffer. Michael’s involvement in LGBTQ+ inclusive education started when he was asked to lead the LGBTQ+ staff community group for a network of public schools in the Northeast. Interest in the group grew immensely: it increased to over 500 members, marched in pride parades, and transformed internal policies for LGBTQ+ staff and students. In 2018, Michael joined GLSEN’s Connecticut chapter to launch the Rainbow Library, a program that sends queer-affirming books to schools. Since then, the program has grown to thousands of locations in dozens of states. He sees the Rainbow Library not only as way to help youth access queer-affirming literature, but as a bridge to other LGBTQ+ supports and policy changes. Originally from New York, Michael currently splits his time between Nashville, Tennessee, where his partner and their dog, Reese, reside, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Michael is pursuing a Master of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Indie Landrum

Youth Programs Associate
Pronouns: They/Them

Indie Landrum

Indie is a trans nonbinary queer neurodivergent artist. Their experience being a homeless queer/trans youth shaped their devotion to youth work and social justice. Indie has over 10 years of experience working directly with youth in various way, from case management with homeless youth to community organizing development of queer and trans students. They have a passion for making mediocre art and cuddling with their adorable fur-babies.

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Aubri Tuero

Individual Giving Manager
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Aubri Tuero

Aubri Tuero is a development professional living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She holds a Master of International Service in Global Governance, Politics, and Security from American University in Washington, DC and a dual Bachelor of Art in History and Film & Media Arts from the University of Utah. Ms. Tuero is also a board member of Friends of Gilgal Sculpture Garden, working to preserve public art in Utah. In her personal life she enjoys taking her dog Vito to the park and discussing books with her Short Book Club.

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Morgan Stinson

Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager
Pronouns: She/Her

Morgan Stinson

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Jacqueline Schweiger

Database Manager
Pronouns: She/Her

Jacqueline Schweiger

Jacqueline Schweiger (she/her) is the Database Manager at GLSEN, where she processes and reports on donor and gift information. She has worked in nonprofit development for a number of years, including at GLAAD, the French Institute Alliance Française, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

Jacqueline graduated from the University of Virginia and holds a master’s degree in Art Business from Sotheby's Institute of Art. In her free time, she enjoys reading, swimming laps, and spending time with her family.

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Steve Mancuso

Senior Major Gifts and Individual Giving Officer
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Stephen Mancuso

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Lyndsey Godwin

Manager of Network Capacity Building
Pronouns: She/Her and They/Them

Lyndsey Godwin

Growing up in rural Ohio, Lyndsey knew a more just, loving, and liberated world was possible, even if she didn’t understand how; as an adult they understand that building that world requires community, action, anti-racist practice, and a lot of humility. Using practical, learner-centered approaches, Lyndsey partners with organizers, artists, academics, faith leaders, and educators to facilitate practices that invite all to get more comfortable with discomfort in order to build solidarity and courage. Lyndsey brings nearly 15 years of anti-oppression training, program design, and coaching focused on growing queer liberation and reproductive freedom through multi-racial organizing centered in iteration, experimentation, and healing. They were one of the founding directors and board members of Nashville Launch Pad, a LGBTQ+ affirming emergency shelter for youth 18-24, and serves on the Board of Directors for SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. Lyndsey is southern by the way of y’all, perpetually curious, and camp kid at heart (with over 20 years working collaboratively to design camp and youth leadership experiences).

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Jamond J. Foree

Community Mobilization Manager
Pronouns: He/Him

Jamond J. Foree

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jamond has spent his career working to improve the cognitive, physical, and social-emotional outcomes for young people from cradle to career.

Most recently Jamond provided professional development and capacity building support to the Ohio Department of Education's 21st CCLC network. Additionally, he has served as Youth Development & Education Program Director for the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, Senior Manager for Community Strategies at StrivePartnership and as Technical Advisor for the YMCA of the USA.

As a trainer and skilled facilitator, Jamond has worked all across the country helping organizations, school districts, and municipalities build capacity while developing strategies to ensure diversity, inclusion, and equity. In addition, Jamond is a multidisciplinary artist having worked professionally as a costume designer, actor, and writer. When he is not trying to save the world, he is busy working his most important job: Dad.

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Key Jackson

Deputy Executive Director for Programs and Power Building
Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

Key Jackson

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David Eng-Chernack

Deputy Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
Pronouns: He/Him/His

David Eng-Chernack

David is an accomplished and progressive marketing, communications and public relations professional with extensive experience in the multi-faceted for- and not-for-profit national and international arenas. Before GLSEN, he was the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at the Tenement Museum where he was responsible for all communications, marketing, advertising, brand management, media and public relations.

Prior to joining the Tenement Museum, he was the Marketing and Development Director for New York City’s Chinatown as part of the post-9/11 revitalization efforts. There he oversaw the Explore Chinatown tourism marketing campaign as well as the production of events such as Taste of Chinatown and Lunar Stages to draw visitors back to the neighborhood.

He has provided unique and unorthodox marketing approaches to a diverse roster of projects and institutions including New York City, where he helped create the landmark “I Love New York” campaign, The Metropolitan Opera and GMHC and amfAR during the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

He has spoken nationally and internationally on public relations, multiculturalism and diversity marketing and outreach in Birmingham (UK), Vancouver, Washington D.C., San Antonio and London; and is an Adjunct Professor at the New School teaching Arts & Cultural Marketing and Introduction to Nonprofit Management.

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Aaron Ridings

Chief of Staff and Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy and Research
Pronouns: He, Him, His/They, Them, Theirs

Aaron Ridings

Aaron Ridings (he/they) is the Chief of Staff and Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy and Research at GLSEN. In this role, he is responsible for working closely with the Executive Director to streamline operations and align cross-departmental programming to increase GLSEN’s impact. They directly oversee the Research Institute and the Public Policy Office.

As the child of a public school teacher and volunteer school board committee member, they have a lifelong connection to working in K–12 learning communities. He joined the national staff team in 2019 after first being engaged with GLSEN as a member of the National Safe Schools Roundtable representing the Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition in 2010. His experience at the intersections of LGBTQ+ justice, civil rights, and K–12 education includes being a member of the Steering Committee for Schools Uniting Neighborhoods, a community schools program based in the Portland, Oregon metro region, and leading a local education agency policy research project with the State of Oregon Program Design and Evaluation Services.

Throughout their 20 year career in public service, they have passed progressive policies and advanced LGBTQ+ inclusive data collection in partnership with federal, state, city, county, school district, and tribal governments. He previously served as a Senior Fellow at the Western States Center, Associate Director of the LGBTQ+ Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, along with several roles at Basic Rights Oregon and other LGBTQ+-missioned organizations. Aaron was a long-time aide to Multnomah County, Oregon Chair Deborah Kafoury and most recently had stints working for Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and U.S. Representative Sharice Davids (KS-3). He has been an active volunteer for electoral and issue campaigns and is a former member of the Victory Fund Campaign Board and several national and state campaign committees.

His advocacy has been recognized with emerging leadership awards from the first annual Queer Heroes Northwest Awards, City of Portland, Oregon Human Rights Commission, Native American Youth and Family Center, and the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest. Aaron has a Master of Public Administration with an Award of Excellence for Community Engagement from Portland State University.

He lives with his partner in Washington, DC and enjoys making time to visit his family’s farm in Oregon.