GLSEN has a new report out that asked nearly 300 trans students about how they're getting along in school:
Nearly nine out of 10 transgender students experienced verbal harassment at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation and gender expression, more than half experienced physical harassment because of their sexual orientation and gender expression and more than a quarter experienced physical assault because of their sexual orientation and gender expression.
High school is already hard enough, but throw that level of harassment into the mix and it can drive most people to just stay home or drop out of school. The worst thing is that teachers usually don't do anything to help.
The high rate of victimization had a direct impact on school attendance and academic performance. Transgender students who experienced high levels of harassment were more likely to miss school because they felt unsafe and had lower grade point averages than those who experienced lower levels of harassment.
Less than a fifth of transgender students said that school staff intervened most of the time or always when hearing homophobic remarks or negative remarks about someone's gender expression.
In addition, school staff also contributed to the harassment. A third of transgender students heard school staff make homophobic remarks, sexist remarks and negative comments about someone's gender expression in the past year.
And how many rightwingers are opposed to even training teachers the basics about how to help trans students? Is that even a mainstream policy debate in this country?
It certainly ought to be. While we ask for an inclusive ENDA to protect people on the job later on, if trans students are dropping out of school, performing poorly, or missing school because of harassment, they're going to be held back in the job market.