Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students face rampant bullying inside America's schools. Classrooms that are supposed to be safe, welcoming, enriching locations of learning get turned into abusive and dreadful venues for harrassment, teasing, and physical and emotional abuse for thousands of LGBT students.
On Monday of this week, an 11-year-old Massachusetts student committed suicide because of what his mom described as rampant bullying over his perceived sexual orientation at school. Two weeks ago, parents sued a Mentor, Ohio high school for not protecting their child from physical abuse, name-calling and taunts over his perceived sexual orientation. The student, Eric Mohat, was told by one of the school bullies, "Why don't you go home and shoot yourself, no one will miss you." Mohat did.
These are just two stories from the past 14 days that illustrate how widespread bullying is toward LGBT students. Here are some numbers, according the the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN):
Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT youth (86.2%) reported being verbally harassed at school;
More than 60 percent of LGBT students said they felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation;
Nearly 45 percent of LGBT students reported being physically harassed in school; and
Nearly one-third of LGBT students nationwide said they had missed a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe