Resolution on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youths in the Schools

Whereas society's attitudes, behaviors, and tendency to render lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons invisible permeate all societal institutions including the family and school system (Gonsiorek, 1988; Hetrick & Martin, 1988; Ponse, 1978; Uribe & Harbeck, 1992);

Whereas it is a presumption that all persons, including those who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual, have the right to equal opportunity within all public educational institutions;

Whereas current literature suggests that some youths are aware of their status as lesbian, gay, or bisexual persons by early adolescence (Remafedi, 1987; Savin-Williams, 1990; Slater, 1988; Troiden, 1988);

Whereas many lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths, and youths perceived to belong to these groups, face harassment and physical violence in school environments (Freiberg, 1987; Hetrick & Martin, 1988; Remafedi, 1987; Schaecher, 1988; Uribe & Harbeck, 1992; Whitlock, 1988);

Whereas many lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths are at risk for lowered self-esteem and for engaging in self-injurious behaviors, including suicide (Gibson, 1989; Gonsiorek, 1988; Harry, 1989; Hetrick & Martin, 1988; Savin-Williams, 1990);

Whereas gay male and bisexual youths are at an increased risk of HIV infection (Savin-Williams, 1992);

Whereas lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths of color have additional challenges to their self-esteem as a result of the negative consequences of discrimination based on both sexual orientation and ethnic/racial minority status (Garnets & Kimmel 1991);

Whereas lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths with physical or mental disabilities are at increased risk due to the negative consequence of societal prejudice toward persons with mental or physical disabilities (Hingsburger & Griffiths, 1986; Pendler & Hingsburger, 1991);

Whereas lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths who are poor or working class may face additional risks (Gordon, Schroeder, & Abramo, 1990);

Whereas psychologists affect policies and practices within educational environments;

Whereas psychology promotes the individual's development of personal identity including the sexual orientation of all individuals;

Therefore be it resolved that the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists shall take a leadership role in promoting societal and familial attitudes and behaviors that affirm the dignity and rights, within the educational environments, of all lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths, including those with physical or mental disabilities, and from all ethnic/racial background and classes.

Therefore be it resolved that the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists support providing a safe and secure educational atmosphere in which all youths, including lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths, may obtain an education free from discrimination, harassment, violence, and abuse, and promotes an understanding and acceptance of self;

Therefore be it resolved that the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists encourage psychologists to develop and evaluate interventions that foster nondiscriminatory environments, lower risk for HIV infection, and decrease self-injurious behaviors in lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths.

Therefore be it resolved that the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists shall advocate efforts to ensure the funding of basic and applied research on and scientific evaluations of interventions and programs designed to address the issues of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths in the schools, and programs for HIV prevention targeted at gay and bisexual youths.

Therefore be it resolved that the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists shall work with other organizations in efforts to accomplish these ends (DeLeon, 1993).