The School Climate Survey Results Are In
The School Climate Survey Results Are In

Tuesday, November 15: A new report from Belong To, the national LGBTQ+ youth organisation, uncovers the harsh reality of life at school for 1,209 lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ+) second level students across Ireland. Despite significant positive progress in recent years in Irish society with legislation, national strategies, and policies to protect LGBTQ+ people in Ireland, the 2022 School Climate Survey found that school is still not a safe place for LGBTQ+ students.

The 2022 School Climate Survey asked second-level students who identify as LGBTQ+ about their feelings of safety, instances of LGBTQ+ discrimination, experiences of harassment, and availability of school-based support and resources for LGBTQ+ students, in the most recent academic year. This year, 1,209 LGBTQ+ students took part in the survey in Ireland.

The research found that 76% of LGBTQ+ students feel unsafe at school, 69% of LGBTQ+ students hear homophobic remarks from other students, while 58% of LGBTQ+ students heard homophobic remarks from school staff. Positive indicators from the report include that 99% of LGBTQ+ students said that they know at least one school staff member supportive of LGBTQ+ identities.

Findings show that this level of support leads to LGBTQ+ students being more likely to feeling accepted by their peers, having an increased sense of belonging, and being less likely to miss school to avoid victimisation.

Click here to view the full report>>

Stand Up Awareness Week
Stand Up Awareness Week

The findings were published during the 13th year of Stand Up Awareness Week which takes place from Monday November 14th to Friday November 18th. Stand Up Awareness Week, Ireland’s largest anti LGBTI+ bullying campaign in Ireland. Use of homophobic, transphobic, and biphobic language and the harassment, abuse, and exclusion of LGBTQ+ students remains rife throughout second-level schools in Ireland. This stark reality creates a hostile school environment for many LGBTQ+ students, presenting significant risks for their wellbeing, mental health, and educational outcomes.

Because of these shocking results, IAPI along with our member agencies, production partners, clients and 2FM believe it is vitally important to provide support to BelongTo in sending out a message which promotes inclusivity in schools and sheds some much needed light on the struggles of LGBTQ+ students. Moving on from the ‘words that hurt’ messaging of last year, this year’s message is focusing on ‘words that heal’. The concept is driven from what the LGBTQ+ community wished they heard in school, words and affirmations that show solidarity, acceptance and support. In the face of so many hurtful words, we can often feel powerless. But if words have the power to hurt, then they also have the power to heal. Learn more about the 2022 campaign here>>

Speaking about the report, CEO of Belong To, Moninne Griffith (she/her) said: “In the past two years, we have witnessed the rollback of LGBTQ+ rights internationally, the growth of the far right, and horrific violence inflicted on members of the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland. There is still a long way to go for these changes in laws and policies to translate into change experienced in the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ young people.

“This research highlights the urgent need for educators, parents, schools, policymakers, and politicians to listen to LGBTQ+ students and to learn from them. We must the safety and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ students who are seriously at risk. We need the government to integrate LGBTQ+ awareness and inclusion to teacher-training courses and implement outstanding actions under the LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy. We can see the positive impact when LGBTQ+ students feel supported by staff and we are grateful to inspiring teachers and schools across Ireland who have worked on LGBTQ+ school safety and inclusivity for years and have saved lives through these interventions. Together, we can create a better future for LGBTQ+ young people at school - a future where they feel safe, equal, and valued.”

Show Your Support During Stand Up Awareness Week
Show Your Support During Stand Up Awareness Week

What NOT to say:

  • It’s probably just a phase
  • Please don’t tell anyone lese
  • You don’t look gay
  • I can’t believe you would do this to me
  • I am so disappointed in you
  • What will people think?

What to say:

  • I love you no matter what
  • I’m so glad you told me!
  • What do you need?
  • Tell me more, I want to understand.
  • How can I support you?

This supportive language can make all the difference to a young person struggling to come out. The work Belong To does allows the young LGBTQ+ community to feel safe in school, as all students should. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to make this a reality in schools.

Click here to learn more>>