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Monday, October 17, 2011

How Many San Francisco High Schoolers Have Gay Parents?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 3:40 PM

San Francisco's public school kids have pride -- in their own family.
  • San Francisco's public school kids have pride -- in their own family.

Some social conservatives have bizarrely charged that making LGBT history a part of the state-mandated curriculum is just a veiled lesson on how to be gay.  But for a small percentage of San Francisco kids, that classroom instruction won't just be history lessons about a marginalized minority group -- that coursework will help them define their own families.

Four percent of students in San Francisco's public high schools say they have LGBT parents, according to preliminary results of a district-wide survey given to ninth and 11th graders last spring, as SF Weekly has learned. Additionally, two percent of seventh graders said that are living in LGBT households, says Kevin Gogin, the San Francisco Unified School District's head of LGBT support services.

That comes out to about 800 families total. "We were the first district

nationally to ask the question," Gogin told us. The data was part of a

larger survey given to high schoolers last spring about LGBT

bullying. All the statistics will be released in a month.

San Francisco schools, perhaps surprisingly, have a long way to go on cutting out LGBT bullying, as we wrote about in a cover story last year. The results from surveys given in 2007 and 2009 showed LGBT students had a much higher rate of suicidal thoughts than their straight peers, and students often heard gay slurs at their schools.

The data on LGBT families was announced last Thursday night as the school district had its first-ever dinner for the district's LGBT families at Alvarado Elementary School, where roughly 200 people attended.

"There's only one other district that does this in the country, and we

beat them in the first year," Gogin says. "We were overwhelmed with the

positive outpouring from the community."

Now the data has the district curious about how many elementary school kids are living in LGBT households. When the district revamps the questionnaire in two years, they'll be asking the city's youngsters, too.

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Lauren Smiley


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