ST. CLOUD -- The St. Cloud Area School District is working on ways to increase inclusivity for their LGBT students.

Executive Director of Research, Evaluation, Assessment & Enrollment Sylvia Huff presented data collected from GSA student groups at Apollo, McKinley, and Tech high schools at Wednesday night’s school board meeting.

The focus groups were asked a variety of questions related to their experiences with staff, administration, and peers. Huff says the most negative feedback came from questions regarding interactions with other students.

They indicated that they are typically on the receiving end of a number of homophobic jokes, and most indicated that they have at some point been bullied by their peers.

The students also listed concerns over bathroom and locker room facilities, gendered gym classes and class activities, the treatment of LGBT topics in class discussions, as well as posters for their club being torn down or vandalized among others.

In response, the district has decided to add more gender options to their surveys, make bathroom considerations in their Apollo remodel plans, provide LGBT training for their staff members, and share the data from the focus groups with staff and administrators.

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