lgbt students

Many of the ways in which schools violate LGBTQ students’ rights are things we at the ACLU have seen countless times.  For example, public high schools try to prevent students from forming gay-straight alliance clubs all the time, despite very clear instructions from the Equal Access Act and over a dozen federal court victories for GSAs over the past two decades.  The law is crystal clear, but schools keep getting away with breaking the law far too often.

Students experiencing anti-LGBTQ discrimination at their schools can contact the ACLU for help, but you may first want to try advocating for yourself using one of our many open letters to schools.  These letters are PDFs on ACLU letterhead that explain schools' legal obligations on a variety of issues that frequently affect LGBTQ students.  Feel free to print any letter that applies to your situation, give it to your principal or superintendent, ask them to reconsider their position, and tell them, “I found this on the ACLU website!” 

Open Letter to Schools About...

Letters updated February 2023

Prohibitions on LGBTQ+ Rainbow Flags and Other Pride Displays

Addressing Anti-LGBT Bullying

Censorship of LGBTQ Students and Issues

Disciplining LGBTQ Students for Displays of Affection

Gendered Dress Codes

GSAs (Gay-Straight Alliances or Gender and Sexuality Alliances)

LGBTQ Students’ Dates for School Events

LGBTQ Student Privacy

Sex Discrimination on Prom or Homecoming Court

Transgender Students and School Records


Students: Know Your Rights

Stay Informed