LGBTQ Youth in California Report More Negative School Experiences Than Non-LGBTQ Youth

A new study has just been released, LGBTQ Youth in California Public Schools: Difference Across the State.

The report, titled LGBTQ Youth in California’s Public Schools: Differences across the State, explored disparities in school experiences, school performance and well-being of LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ youth in California, as well as disparities between LGBTQ youth in rural and urban areas in the state.

LGBTQ youth in California reported less connection with school, poorer academic outcomes and more frequent victimization than their non-LGBTQ peers, according to a new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

Using data from the 2013-2015 California Student Survey and California Healthy Kids Survey, the report found that despite state laws protecting LGBTQ youth from bullying and discrimination at schools, LGBTQ youth in California a more negative school environment than non-LGBTQ youth. The report also found that LGBTQ youth in rural areas of California reported a more negative school environment and feeling less safe at school compared to LGBTQ youth in urban areas of California.

 “Even in a state as supportive as California, where you live and go to school can make a significant difference in how successful and safe you feel at school,” said Bianca D.M. Wilson, Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law. “Policies and laws are an essential start, but they’re not enough. Establishing a culture of acceptance is critical to support individual lives.”

The report explored disparities in school experiences, school performance and well-being of LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ youth in California, as well as disparities between LGBTQ youth in rural and urban areas in the state.  LGBTQ youth throughout the state reported less connection with school, poorer academic outcomes and more frequent victimization than their non-LGBTQ peers. With National Coming Out Day is October 11, this study provides an important perspective on some of the challenges facing LGBTQ youth in California.

We have created a webpage to highlight the study findings, which also includes analyses from six regions in California: Bay Area, Central/Southern Farm, Central Valley, Los Angeles County, North and Mountain, and Southern California (without Los Angeles).