California Educator

February / March 2019

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Page 17 of 71

to all of their teachers, and 13 percent said they were open with their teachers about being transgender, nonbinary or gender-expansive. Findings related to the mental health of LGBTQ+ students were particularly alarming, especially considering that LGBTQ+ youth are four times as likely to commit suicide as their non-LGBTQ+ peers. Nearly four-fifths of respondents said they felt depressed in the past week, and a stunning 93 percent reported hav- ing trouble getting to sleep at night. "Schools must invest in creating cli- mates that openly and vocally value and celebrate all forms of diversity, includ- ing LGBTQ identities," the report states. "Ensuring that school s have LGBTQ- inclusive policies and procedures that are compliant with California law, and that school staff have received sufficient training on implementation, is a good starting point." In recent years, California has led the way and passed several laws designed to protect LGBTQ+ students and provide guidance on compliance. However, the data in the report suggests that some districts may be unaware of their legal obliga- tions, while others have yet to complete updating their policies to en sure LGBTQ+ in clu sion . According to HRC and UConn, these oversights, delays, and even some districts that are deliberately ignoring the requirements have contributed to the challenges experienced by LGBTQ+ youth who responded to the survey. "e groundbreaking data reveals that the cards remain stacked against LGBTQ youth in California — and especially for LGBTQ youth of color and transgender and gender-expansive youth," says Ellen Kahn, HRC Foundation director of the Children, Youth and Families Program. is report was written in partnership with CTA, as well as: • A ss o c i a t i o n of C a li f o r n i a S c h o o l Administrators. • C a li f o r n i a A ss o c i a t i o n of S c h o o l Counselors. • C a li f o r n i a A ss o c i a t i o n of S c h o o l Psychologists. • California Federation of Teachers. • California School Boards Association. • California School Nurses Organization. • California State PTA. • Equality California. HRC's "2018 LGBTQ Youth Report" is available at H R C 's " C a l i f o r n i a L G B T Q Yo u t h Report" is available at YouthReport-California. " The report clearly shows that while we have made progress, we still have a way to go. As educators, we must do all we can to build an inclusive learning environment that inspires all students." —CTA President Eric Heins 16 In the Know R E S E A R C H

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