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Transforming Our Schools. Gender-Biased Harassment Office of Human Relations, Diversity & Equity Judy Chiasson, PhD. Judy Chiasson, Ph.D. Office of Human Relations, Diversity and Equity 213-241-5626 A Population at Risk. Diversity Question.

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Transforming Our Schools

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Transforming our schools

Transforming Our Schools

Gender-Biased Harassment

Office of Human Relations, Diversity & Equity

Judy Chiasson, PhD

Transforming our schools

Judy Chiasson, Ph.D.

Office of Human Relations, Diversity and Equity


A Population at Risk

Diversity question

Diversity Question

What does Diversity mean in

Los Angeles?

La county census

LA County Census

Lausd has 704 417 students

LAUSD has 704,417 students

California protected categories

California Protected Categories

  • Sex

  • Sexual orientation

  • Gender identity

  • Ethnic group identification

  • Race

  • Color

  • National origin

  • Religion

  • Mental or physical disability

Who feels most unwelcome at school

Who feels most unwelcome at school?

Of all populations on our campus, sexual minorities are at the highest risk for a plethora of stress-related behaviors.

Sexual minorities

Sexual Minorities








Same Gender Loving

On the Down Low

No label

How many are there

How many are there?

  • 6% of students identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender

  • 16% of students have gay, lesbian, or transgender family members

How many are there1

How many are there?

  • 2.1 million people in LA County are or have LGBTQ family members (10 million x 21%)

  • 10,000 California children are being raised by gay and lesbian parents (US Census)

  • 14,000 foster children are being raised by lgbt parent(s)

  • 65,000 children have been adopted by lgbt parents

The invisible population

The Invisible Population

  • Sexual orientation is invisible.

  • What is the cost of invisibility?

  • It’s high, it’s bad….

How bad is it

How bad is it?

  • 80% of LGBT youth have experienced verbal abuse

  • 44% have been threatened with physical violence

At school

At school

  • 97% youth report hearing anti-gay comments from their peers “frequently”

  • 53% report hearing anti-gay comments made by teachers

  • The average student hears an anti-gay comment 25.5 times per day or every 8 minutes

Guidance counselors

Guidance counselors

  • Two-thirds of guidance counselors harbor negative feelings toward gay and lesbian people.

  • Less than 20% of guidance counselors have received any training on serving gay and lesbian students.



  • 77% of prospective teachers would not encourage a class discussion on homosexuality.

  • 85% oppose integrating gay/lesbian themes into their existing curricula.



  • 80% of prospective teachers report negative attitudes toward gay and lesbian people.

  • 66% of prospective teachers can be classified as “high-grade homophobes.”

  • 52% of prospective teachers report that they would feel uncomfortable working with an openly lesbian or gay colleague.

School violence

School violence

School shooters

School shooters

  • All school shooters were males who had been mercilessly and routinely teased and bullied.

  • Their violence was retaliatory against teasing that was homophobic in nature (fag, queer, sissy).

    Michael S. Kimmel & Matthew Mahler. Adolescent masculinity, homophobia, and violence: Random school shootings, 1982-2001. The American Behavior Scientist; June 2003, 46.10

Growing up

Growing up

  • LGBT adults report having heard significantly higher frequencies of anti-gay comments while growing up as do heterosexuals.

Who is saying these things

Who is saying these things?

  • Parents

  • Relatives

  • Religious leaders

  • Political leaders

  • Peers

  • Teachers

  • Actors

  • Musicians

  • Comedians

In our communities

In our communities

2006 hate crimes in la county

2006 Hate Crimes in LA County

Prime targets

Prime targets

E o green junior high 02 16 08

14-year old Brandon McInerney fatally shot 15-year old Lawrence King because of King’s homosexuality.

E.O. Green Junior High: 02/16/08

Gay youth of color

Gay Youth of Color

Sean Ethan Owen


Gay youth of color1

Over 48% of GLBTQ youth of color were verbally harassed in school regarding sexual orientation and race/ ethnicity.

Gay Youth of Color

  • Up to 46% of GLBTQ youth of color experience physical violence related to sexual orientation.

The perpetrator is most likely to be a family member.

Our challenge

Our challenge

Understand, empathize and be compassionate about something that may be outside of our own experience.

Challenges to ending discrimination

Challenges to Ending Discrimination

Homo uality

Desexualize homosexuality

Desexualize homoSEXuality

  • Sexual orientation is a feeling

  • Sexual behavior is an act

We know that

We know that …

We have a legal and moral obligation to protect our children.

Legal considerations

Legal Considerations

California Safety and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (AB537)

  • Added sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.

  • Specified deliberate indifference.

  • Removed the corporate shield.

Do our job

Do our job

It is our job to make the campus safe for the students, not the students’ job to make the campus safe for us.

Transforming our schools

  • So what do we do about it?



  • Project 10 IMPACT Curriculum

  • Country’s first curriculum for LGBTQ youth

  • Among first in the country to adopt a textbook that addresses sexual orientation and gender identity

Replace labels with faces

LGBT is not a sandwich

Replace labels with faces

Be willing to learn

Be willing to learn

Advocate for them

Advocate for them

Protect them

Protect them

Treasure them

Treasure them

Accept them

Accept them

Teach them

Teach them

Transforming our schools

Prejudice tolerated is intolerance encouraged

Transforming our schools

Judy Chiasson, Ph.D.

Program Coordinator

Office of Human Relations, Diversity and Equity




  • Carter K. “Gay Slurs Abound,” in The Des Moines Register, March 7, 1997, p. 1.

  • Garafalo, R., Wolf, C., Kessel, S., Palfrey, J. & DuRant, R (1998). The association between health risk behaviors and sexual orientation among a school-based sample of adolescents. Pediatrics, 101, 895-902.

  • Gates, G., Badgett, M., Chambers, K., & Macomber, J. (2007) Adoption and Foster Care by Gay and Lesbian Parents in the United States, The Williams Institute, UCLA.

  • GLSEN.Just the facts on gay, lesbian and bisexual youth in schools

  • GLSEN/Detroit, Bruised Bodies, Bruised Spirits: An Assessment of the Current Climate of Safety for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth in Southeastern Michigan Schools, pp. 31-33.

  • Hetrick E., and Martin A. D. “Developmental Issues and Their Resolution for Gay and Lesbian Adolescents” in Journal of Homosexuality, 1987.



  • Human Rights Watch. (2001). Hatred in the hallways: Violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students in U.S. schools. New York: Human Rights Watch.

  • Journal Consulting Clinical Psychology, 1994, 62:261-69.

  • Kosciw JG, Cullen MK. The School-Related Experiences of Our Nation's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth: The GLSEN 2001 National School Climate Survey. New York: GLSEN, 2001.

  • Laumann, E.O., Gagnon, J.H., Michael, RT, Michaels, S. (1994). The social organization of sexuality: Sexual practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Los Angeles County Human Relations Hate Crimes 2005:

  • PFLAG National Schools Assessment, January 2005

  • Pittman KJ et al. Making sexuality education and prevention programs relevant for African American youth. J Sch Health 1992; 62:339-44.

  • SIECEUS, 2001, Volume 29, #4 

  • Saewyc, E., Bearinger, L., Blum, R., Resnick. M. (1999). Sexual intercourse, abuse and pregnancy among adolescent women: Does sexual orientation make a difference? Family Planning Perspectives, Vol. 31, No. 3, p. 127-131.

  • Stotzer, R. (2007) Comparison of hate crime rates across protected and unprotect groups. The Williams Institute, UCLA.

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