Know Your Rights! - Students Wallet Card

You have the right to be yourself. This wallet card provides LGBT students with the basics – outlining students’ legal rights in public schools.

You Have Rights!

Freedom of Expression: Some schools try to silence students who express their opinions about LGBT issues. If you go to a public school, you have a constitutional right to express your views and identity.

Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs): A GSA is a noncurricular student club -- just like Chess Club or Fellowship of Christian Athletes -- for students with a shared interest in LGBT issues.  According to federal law, public high schools that allow any other noncurricular clubs must allow GSAs and treat them no differently from other clubs.

School Dances: Public schools can't stop you from bringing a same-sex date to prom or homecoming, nor can they tell you that you can't dress a certain way, or run for prom king/queen, because it doesn't fit traditional gender roles.

Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students: Transgender and gender nonconforming students often face discrimination over dress codes, access to restrooms and locker rooms, and their chosen names and pronouns. Contact the ACLU LGBT Project if you want help making sure your school treats you with respect and keeps you safe.

Harassment: If you're being harassed or threatened, go to the principal or another official right away. Keep detailed notes with dates of all incidents. Put the school on notice that it has to protect you.

Privacy: Schools should not out you to anyone without your permission, even if you're out to some people at school.

By ACLU and GLSEN, last updated January 2015

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