by Jillian Kramer
Originally published: March 29, 2016
As battles over bathrooms rage in several states—lawmakers attempting to restrict transgender students and residents from the restrooms that match their gender identity—a new report suggests a novel idea: School districts should collect more data about their LGBT students to protect them from bullying and unfair discipline at their schools.
The Documenting Disparities for LGBT Students report, released Sunday by the Equity Project at Indiana University, asks lawmakers to issue two federal surveys, which would be administered anonymously by school districts to their students. The surveys would ask questions about sexual orientation and gender identity, in an attempt to determine whether the policy changes meant to help LGBT youth are actually working—and whether schools are discriminating against LGBT students.
“When we fail to ask questions about youths’ sexual orientation and gender identity, we fail to understand, support, and protect all students from discrimination in schools,” the report says.