Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Gay-straight alliances in schools, Bullying in schools-Prevention, High school teachers-Attitudes, Sexual minorities, Lesbian high school students, Gay high school students, Bisexual high school students, Transgender youth, LGBTQ youth, School climate, Bullying


Bullying and school climate are salient topics in today's society particularly in the educational setting. They are especially salient topics for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) youth because they are targeted more frequently and with more intensity. However, there is little existing information regarding risk and protective factors for this population. This quantitative study examined the perceptions of the faculty and staff at one high school, Helix Charter High School in San Diego, California, with regard to the Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) and its impacts on bullying and overall school climate. The 72 participants answered an online survey. The survey had a total of 24 items, which were comprised of six areas: Demographics, Gay/Straight Alliances, LGBTQ Youth, Bullying of LGBTQ Youth, Personal Experiences, and Closing. This study found that though most respondents were aware of the GSA on campus they were not directly involved with the club. Additionally, many participants reported feeling confident about raising LGBTQ issues within the classroom but nearly 60% do not do so regularly. While findings suggest that the majority of participants are supportive of the GSA, they also report a lack of true understanding with regard to the specific needs of LGBTQ youth. Recommendations for future research include expanding the survey to other high schools as well as surveying the students at Helix Charter High School to allow for a side-by-side comparison of responses.




iv, 68 p. : ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 49-56)