U.S. education officials to follow S.F. lead and begin collecting data on sexual orientation, bullying 

In order to better track student safety and comfort in schools, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it will now include sexual orientation in its data collection.

The move intends to open up questions of bullying against LGBT students on the national level, according to the department's Office of Civil Rights.

The office collects data from schools nationwide on the well-being of students while they are at school. This is the first time the data will include bullying or harassment of students based on their sexual orientation.

The San Francisco Unified School District, however, is one step ahead, having started asking students to include their sexual orientation five years ago in order to better serve the student body.

Yet even with this data, San Francisco students who identify as LGBT experience more bullying and attempt suicide at higher rates than their straight peers.

Still, the data is important in providing services to students, district officials say.

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