CDC’s YRBS Data: A Call to Action

Produced by the HRC Foundation

In August 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a biennial report from the data collected using their Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance survey, which is the only national survey designed to monitor a wide range of priority health risk behaviors among representative samples of U.S. high school students. In light of this release, Project THRIVE issued a public statement and call to action in response to the alarming YRBS data that find significant disparities between LGBTQ youth and their non-LGBTQ peers. Project THRIVE partners, representing over 5 million youth-serving professionals, make clear that all of us---from parents to pediatricians, school counselors to coaches, need to be more knowledgeable and intentional about supporting LGBTQ youth.

In addition, Project THRIVE released an executive summary of the data that provides an overview of key findings from HRC’s analysis of the CDC data and has created a checklist for schools and youth-serving organizations to guide their efforts around creating safe and inclusive environments for LGBTQ youth. The checklist also includes a poster that can be displayed in classrooms or offices to show LGBTQ youth that someone is affirming.

Our progress as a nation relies on schools’ ability to cultivate the potential of every child, regardless of race, background, sexual orientation, gender identification or any other characteristic that might marginalize them. For principals, that means we must make school a physically and emotionally safe place where all students can become their best selves. And we must intensify our efforts to create that space especially for LGBTQ+ students, who are bullied and harassed at tragically high rates. Our failure to do so hurts not just the child but all of us who miss out on all that young person might otherwise contribute to the world and future we all share.

JoAnn Bartoletti, CEO, National Association of Secondary School Principals

Every young person deserves to learn and grow in a safe and nurturing environment, without the fear of bullying, violence or discrimination -- including LGBTQ youth. It is clear that there is an urgent need for action to create a climate of acceptance and inclusion for all students. At PTA, we know that we can speak louder and do more together than apart. It is critical that we work together immediately to turn the tide and ensure LGBTQ youth have every opportunity to thrive at school, at home and in their communities.”

Nathan R. Monell, CAE, Executive Director of the National PTA
The Human Rights Campaign reports on news, events and resources of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that are of interest to the general public and further our common mission to support the LGBTQ+ community.
LGBTQ+ Youth