LGBT Youth & Schools
We’re working to make public schools safe and bias-free for LGBT students, defending their free speech in school, and working to help students start gay-straight alliance clubs. Check out our information for students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Learn about your rights, download resources and get support here. More
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No one should have to be afraid being gay in school.
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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth should have the freedom to be open (or not) about their identity and ideas in schools and government facilities. The ACLU LGBT Project strives to protect their right to be safe and visible, and to have their identity embraced rather than belittled or erased.
We help students protect their right to free expression, to establish gay-straight alliance clubs, and to be taught in an environment respectful of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Students should always feel free to contact us with legal concerns.
Check out our information for students; parents of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender youth; teachers; and administrators. Learn about your rights, download resources, and get support here.
What’s Your Problem? (2012 resource): Discrimination in public schools comes in many forms, and there are just as many different ways to address it. This page can help you figure out roughly what area of the law covers your particular situation.
Library: LGBT Youth & Schools Resources and Links (2012 resource): We’ve gathered some of the best information we have plus great stuff from other organizations that can help you learn more about your rights and what you can do to make your school safer and more respectful of your rights and those of your friends.
Change Your School (2012 resource): Much of what can be done to improve your school are things that students, parents, or community members can do themselves, given the right tools. Check out our information on local organizing to make improvements at your school.
Get Help (2012 resource): If you’re a student who is experiencing anti-LGBT discrimination at your school or a government facility or just want to know more about your rights under the law, here’s how to contact the ACLU for free, confidential information and assistance.
Know Your Rights! A Quick Guide for LGBT High School Students (2012 resource):Many school officials know very little about how the law requires them to protect LGBT students. Sometimes they do know that they’re breaking the law, but hope that students won't question them when they do. Educate yourself about your legal rights and what you can do if your school isn't treating you fairly.
Support the Student Non-Discrimination Act (action): Every day all across this country, LGBT students face harassment and discrimination in public schools, posing a critical threat to their well-being. The Student Non-Discrimination Act (S. 555) would establish a comprehensive federal prohibition against discrimination and harassment in every public elementary and secondary school across the country based on a student’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. It would also protect students who associate with LGBT people, including students with LGBT parents and friends.