US: Petition calls on White House to include LGBT questions in school survey

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Activists are petitioning the White House to include LGBT-specific questions in a proposed school climate survey.

More than 600 people have signed the online request posted on the federal government’s website.

The petition says: “School climate surveys are a critical aspect of the research on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender student success rates. These students have been shown to be at higher risk for bullying, harassment, substance abuse, self-harm, and dropping out, yet demographic information about sexual orientation and gender identity is missing from almost every educational metric.

“The country’s educators and families need more information about the challenges these students face in order to better support their needs.”

Advocates note that questions about sexual orientation and gender identity are “missing from almost every educational metric.”

The Obama administration has pledged to create a school climate survey in the wake of last month’s deadly school shooting in Connecticut.

Speaking at his second inauguration yesterday, President Obama said: “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”