Thursday, October 17, 2013
By Oscar Lopez, Oct 17, 2013 11:26 AM EDT
Today is National Spirit Day. Today we stand together to put an end to the bullying of LGBT youth. Bullying has become a widespread epidemic in the United States, and the bullying of gay, lesbian or transgender youth has reached critical levels. By wearing purple today, people around the country can show their solidarity in the fight against bullying. As reported by E News Celebrities who have pledged their support to Spirit Day include Macklemore, Betty White, Demi Lovato, Kim Kardashian, Kristen Bell and Kelly Osbourne.
Purple is the color representing 'Spirit' on the LGBT rainbow flag. It is a representation of courage and strength in the face of the adversity faced by members of the LGBT community on a regular basis. In recent years, much has been done to prevent bullying of gay and lesbian = youth: Dan Savage's 'It Gets Better' program as well as the work of the Trevor Project have helped decrease the alarming rate of gay teen suicides. Huge strides have been made in the quest of LGBT rights this year with gay marriage being adopted in 13 states and DOMA being repealed in the Supreme Court. Spirit Day recognizes all these achievements.
However, LGBT youth continue to face bullying and gay and transgender people are attacked on a regular basis. If we are to put an end to this violence, it must begin in our schools and in our homes. It is startling to see how endemic the problem of bullying is. Below are the 10 Most Shocking Facts about Bullying. They are a reminder of the importance of Spirit Day in creating awareness and promoting solidarity in the fight against bullying across America.
1. One in four kids in the US are bullied on a regular basis.
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2. Students in grades 6 through 10 are the most likely to face bullying.
3. 77% of students report being verbally bullied or abused in some way.
4. In 85% of school bullying cases, no intervention was made by a teacher or school administrator.
5. Approximately 80% of students report being bullied online.
6. Teens who identify as gay are five times more likely to commit suicide than those that identify as heterosexual.
7. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in American teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18.
8. Gay teens are 20% more likely to attempt suicide in politically conservative areas of the country.
9. In September 2010, 9 gay teenagers killed themselves across the country. That's 9 young men under the age of 18 in one month.
10. 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment. 61% have felt unsafe and 22% have reported being physically assaulted.