What We See in Tennessee Schools
Based on the total enrollment in Tennessee public high schools and national averages of LGBTQ+ youth, approximately 20,548 LGBTQ+ high school students are currently enrolled in Tennessee public high schools.
Only nine school districts out of 146 in the State of Tennessee have enumerated protections for students based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression within their anti-bullying policies. Without enumerated protection, LGBTQ+ students are subjected to higher levels of targeted bullying by peers and faculty members with no support system to turn to for help.
Students Need Unconditional Support
Underestimate the Problem
Many school administrators may incorrectly believe that LGBTQ+ students do not experience discrimination, bullying, and harassment in their schools. This misconception exists in part because students do not report all incidents. According to a recent national study, many LGBTQ+ youth do not bring such incidents to the attention of administrators, and when they do, students report the perpetrators are not held accountable. .
The Journey for LGBT Inclusion at MNPS
Creating Safe Schools
Although the current state of schools may seem overwhelming, as LGBTQ+ students are disproportionately targeted for harassment, assault, and discrimination, there are many small, straightforward steps concerned individuals can take to improve the situation and ensure that all students attend open and affirming schools.
Equity Driven recommends the following actions for creating safer school environments for LGBTQ+ students, in turn creating safer schools for all students.