According to the study, adults who were harassed as kids are 5.6 times more likely to attempt suicide, 2.6 times more likely to report clinical depression, and 2.5 times as likely to have been diagnosed with an STD.
Of course, this doesn’t exactly mean that bullying = suicide. Plenty of kids make it through the awfulness of high school and into happy adulthood. Support is out there, nobody has to suffer alone in silence, and suicide isn’t a foregone consequence of anti-gay harassment.
When organizations like NOM and individuals like Ruban Diaz endorse messages like “Those who practice such things are worthy to death,” they’re knowingly putting kids at risk.
The study was conduced by the Family Acceptance Project and published in the American School Health Association’s Journal of School Health. And it’s not all bleak news: it’s easy to mitigate the risk by implementing anti-discrimination and anti-bullying policies. Policies like the Safe Schools Act, which has been drifting around Congress for years.
We wouldn’t tolerate a school bus driver who’s been empirically proven to be 5.6 times more likely to crash a bus. Why do we tolerate teachers, pastors, and parents who jeopardize kids’ safety through bullying?