On July 31st, the All Students Count Coalition is hosting a free webinar to inform youth and allies about efforts to promote health, safety, and academic success for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ), and gender nonconforming students. The webinar will discuss how and why students and allies – including parents and educators – should engage in local Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) advocacy to make the survey more inclusive of LGBTQ students.
The YRBS, a component of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, was developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor “health-risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults.” These surveys are conducted in schools nation-wide to assess nutrition, bullying, violence, skipping school, drug and alcohol abuse, and sexual activity among the country’s youth. However, only some school districts currently use surveys that ask approved optional questions about sexual orientation and behavior, and gender identity and gender expression. Surveys that do not include LGBTQ and gender nonconforming questions neglect these students and prevent the CDC from being able to address their most pressing needs.
As part of our mission to promote the health and well-being of LGBT persons, we at PFLAG strongly support this webinar and hope it will lead to a more inclusive YRBS that better reflects our youth and adequately addresses the needs of all students. With a stronger and more inclusive survey, the CDC can promote school programs and policies that foster safe, affirming environments that will support students’ learning and success.
Take Action: The webinar will provide insight about ways to advocate for a more inclusive YRBS in your school district. It is critical that you speak up for a more inclusive YRBS in your state to support all LGBTQ and gender non-conforming students. Please click here to learn more about this free webinar and to sign up to join the conversation.