A new study carried out by Belong To has unveiled the harsh realities of being an LGBTQ+ student while at school in Ireland.
Belong To, the national LGBTQ+ youth organisation, have shared the results from their 2022 School Climate Survey, which found that ‘school is still not a safe place for LGBTQ+ students’.
1,208 LGBTQ+ secondary school students from across the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland took part in the study and were asked about topics such as feelings of safety, discrimination, harassment and the level of support for students that is available in school.
The results found that 76% of LGBTQ+ students felt unsafe at school, 69% of LGBTQ+ students hear homophobic remarks from other students, and 58% of LGBTQ+ students have heard homophobic remarks from staff at school.
1 in 3 LGBTQ+ students have skipped school to avoid the negative treatment they receive while attending lessons.
Positive outcomes from the report found that 99% of LGBTQ+ students said they know at least one member of staff that is supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.
Moninne Griffith, CEO of Belong To, explained, “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 positive changes in laws and policies that we have seen in Ireland in recent years 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 prioritise the safety and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ students who are seriously at risk”.
She continued, “Together, we can create a better future for LGBTQ+ young people at school – a future where they feel safe, equal, and valued”.