Queer kids bullied in elementary school

A new poll on elementary school bullying is out. This stuff starts early.
  • One quarter of students (26%) and teachers (26%) report hearing other students make comments like “fag” or “lesbo” at least sometimes.
  • Two thirds of students attribute the bullying and name‐calling that they witness at school to students’ appearance or body size (67%). Students are next most likely to attribute the bullying and name‐calling to not being good at sports (37%), how well they do at schoolwork (26%) and being a boy who acts or looks “too much like a girl” or a girl who acts or looks “too much like a boy” (23%)

What makes a lot of sexual orientation/gender identity bullying invisible is that other kids often don’t exactly use the language of gender and sexuality while picking targets based on gender and sexuality.

Almost one in ten of elementary school students (8%) report that they do not conform to traditional gender norms – i.e., boys who others sometimes think act or look like a girl, or they are girls who others sometimes think act or look like a boy.
• Students who do not conform to traditional gender norms are more likely than others to say they are called names, made fun of or bullied at least sometimes at school (56% vs. 33%).
• Students who do not conform to traditional gender norms are twice as likely as other students to say that other kids at school have spread mean rumors or lies about them (43% vs. 20%) and three times as likely to report that another kid at school has used the internet to call them names, make fun of them or post mean things about them (7% vs. 2%).
• Students who do not conform to traditional gender norms are less likely than other students to feel very safe at school (42% vs. 61%) and are more likely than others to agree that they sometimes do not want to go to school because they feel unsafe or afraid there (35% vs. 15%)

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