JOURNAL ARTICLE

Teachers' Perceptions of Bullying of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students in a Southwestern Pennsylvania Sample

Jered B Kolbert, Laura M Crothers, Matthew J Bundick, Daniel S Wells, Julie Buzgon, Cassandra Berbary, Jordan Simpson, Katherine Senko
Behavioral Sciences 2015, 5 (2): 247-63
26030341
This study was designed to ascertain teachers' perceptions of bullying of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth. In a sample of 200 educators (61.0% female; 96.5% White) from a county in southwestern Pennsylvania, there was a significant positive relationship between the teachers' perceptions of the supportiveness of school staff towards students regardless of sexual orientation and those teachers' reports of the frequency of bullying victimization experienced by LGBTQ students. Teachers' perceptions of a higher level of staff and student support was associated with higher reported frequencies of students' use of derogatory language about LGBTQ individuals and various types of bullying of LGBTQ students. Teachers with a lesbian, gay, or bisexual orientation were found to rate the school staff and students as significantly less supportive of students regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression in comparison to heterosexual teachers. Finally, teachers who either were unaware of or believed that their school lacked an anti-bullying policy reported significantly higher rates of physical bullying victimization of LGBTQ students when compared to the rates observed by teachers who reported knowledge of their schools' anti-bullying policies.

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