Lesbian and bi students more likely to be disciplined at school, say researchers

A study into the differing experiences among lesbian and bi pupils in the American school system has found an alarming disparity in the way it treats its LGBT+ and straight pupils.

The research, which was conducted over a 15-year period by Princeton University, looked into the behaviour of 5000 children across twenty states.

It found that an alarmingly large amount of bi and lesbian pupils were disciplined more than their straight peers.

Lesbian students are said to face almost 95 percent higher odds of discipline than any other female peers, says the report.


“Part of it has to do with cultural conceptions of what it means to be a good woman or a good girl,” said Danni Askini, the executive director of the Gender Justice League, a Seattle-based gender and sexuality civil-rights organization to the Union Bulletin.

Askini believes that this is down to living “in a culture which punishes queer people”.

“It’s a form of social control. We still live in a culture that punishes queer people — just like students of colour are disciplined at an alarming rate,” Askini offered.

PhD student Joel Mittleman’s paper also found that same-sex attracted teenagers have 29 percent higher odds of being excluded from school.

Although it is unclear how these results translate across the pond, the fight for LGBT+ equality for schoolchildren in Britain is on.

The battle to create an LGBT-inclusive sex education is at the forefront of the queer community’s mind in schools.

The current sex and relationship education (SRE) guidelines are very much outdated, and have not been adjusted since 2000.

Meanwhile, The Church of England has argued that schools should teach abstinence and celibacy as viable options in sex and relationships education (SRE).

“RSE should teach about healthy relationships and lifestyle choices,” writes Reverend Nigel Genders, the Church of England’s Chief Education Officer.

“In Church of England schools, RSE will be rooted in the teachings of the Church, including the importance of trust, loyalty, fidelity and the Christian understanding of marriage as the context for sexual relationships, as well as the understanding of abstinence and celibacy as positive life choices,” they added.