A new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) based on the Education Department’s data shows a dismal failure to protect LGBTQ students.
CAP analyzed more than eight years of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) related complaints obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests.
CAP found that “transgender students were overrepresented; 42.6 percent of all SOGI-related complaints were filed based on gender identity, even though transgender students make up between 6 and 21 percent of the LGBTQ student population.”
They also found that: “Harassment was the most frequently occurring allegation in the dataset, with 75.9 percent of all complaints alleging sexual or gender harassment. Comparing the data with other publicly available Department of Education information from fiscal years 2013 through 2016, allegations of harassment appeared more frequently in complaints based on LGBTQ identity than in the general population—72.5 percent versus 19.9 percent.”
And: “One in 6 complaints—14.8 percent—resulted in an action involving a correction in the school’s policies or practices to benefit the student.”
And response to the complaints has markedly changed since the Obama administration:
“Complaints were more than nine times less likely to result in corrective action than they were under the Obama administration. Only 2.4 percent of LGBTQ-related complaints resulted in an agreement with the school or some other action to correct for the alleged discrimination against the student—compared with 22.4 percent under the previous administration.”
And: “Fewer complaints proceeded to a formal investigation being opened by the OCR. Some complaints may not merit corrective action per the OCR’s case processing standards, but any such decision should be based on fact. The lower rate of investigations raises concerns about whether allegations of discrimination are receiving adequate time and attention prior to the decision not to take corrective action.”
CAP concluded: “The Department of Education has a responsibility to protect the rights of LGBTQ students, and this report confirms that it is failing to do so.”
Liz Hill, a spokeswoman for the Education Department, told the NYT: “These data were selectively compiled by a left-wing interest group to tell an ideological story. No one should mistake this as unbiased. This department vigorously protects the civil rights of all students and will continue to do so to the fullest extent of the law.”
Read the full CAP report HERE.