Most of the research on student bullying and school safety focuses on high school students. This research brief uses data from three middle schools in one school district in California to study school safety, school policies, and strategies for creating safer schools for middle school students.
Nearly every student in three schools participated: over 1,500 students completed surveys. The schools were ethnically diverse; a total of 47 students (3%) reported that they were lesbian, gay , or bisexual (LGB); the survey did not include questions about students’ gender identity as transgender or questioning.
Results show that middle school students report considerable bullying and harassment, as well as concerns for their safety . Males and females report different types of harassment and different responses to teachers’ ef forts to promote safety . Compared to their heterosexual or “straight” peers, LGB students report more harassment, and greater fear for their own safety . There were no major differences in experiences of harassment, safety , or school safety strategies across the different ethnic groups in this study.