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The First National Climate Survey on Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia in Canadian Schools

RISE: Respect, Inclusion, Safety, Equity


Rainbow Spectrum

(Conducted in partnership with and funded by Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, with additional support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in 2007-2011.)

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This national survey of Canadian high school students sought to identify the forms and extent of their experiences of homophobic incidents at school and measures being taken by schools to combat this common form of bullying.

This study involved surveying 3700 students from across Canada about their experiences of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia at school and gathered key findings on unsafe spaces for LGBTQ students at school, hearing homophobic and sexist remarks, victimization of LGBTQ students, and also institutional responses. The study also identified signs of progress and recommendations for inclusive school policies.

The First National Climate Survey produced the report Every Class in Every School: Final Report on the First National Climate Survey on Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia in Canadian Schools. Every Class in Every School presents the findings of the First National Climate Survey and serves as a resource for educators and researchers in Canada in understanding the experiences of LGBTQ students so that they may be better equipped to create LGBTQ-inclusive schools.

Key findings from Every Class in Every School include:

    • 70% of all participating students, LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ, reported hearing expressions such as “that’s so gay” every day in school and almost half (48%) reported hearing remarks such as “faggot,” “lezbo,” and “dyke” every day in school.
    • More than one in five (21%) LGBTQ students reported being physically harassed or assaulted due to their sexual orientation.
    • Almost two-thirds (64%) of LGBTQ students and 61% of students with LGBTQ parents reported that they feel unsafe at school.
    • 80% of LGBTQ students from schools with anti-homophobia policies reported never having been physically harassed versus only 67% of LGBTQ students from schools without anti-homophobia policies.
    • 46% of LGBTQ students from schools with anti-homophobia policies reported never having been verbally harassed due to their sexual orientation versus 40% of LGBTQ students from schools without anti-homophobia policies.
    • 58% of non-LGBTQ youth find homophobic comments upsetting. This finding suggests that there is a great deal of potential solidarity for LGBTQ-inclusive education among heterosexual students.

Dr. Catherine Taylor is principal investigator in this study, with co-investigator Dr. Tracey Peter and research partner Egale Canada Human Rights Trust.

FINAL REPORT:

Climate Survey Cover

Suggested citation:

Taylor, C., & Peter, T., with McMinn, T. L., Elliott, T., Beldom, S., Ferry, A., Gross, Z., Paquin, S., & Schacter, K. (2011). Every class in every school: The first national climate survey on homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in Canadian schools. Final report. Toronto, ON: Egale Canada Human Rights Trust.

View Egale’s project site and download the full report here: http://egale.ca/every-class

An executive summary of the report is available below:

Climate Survey Executive Summary Cover




































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