Policy & Advocacy

Claim Your Rights


Have you or someone you know experienced lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQI+)-based bullying, harassment, or discrimination in school that school officials are responsible for or have failed to address? The U.S. Department of Education is actively investigating and responding to complaints of anti-LGBTQI+ discrimination, bullying, and harassment.


If you have experienced school-based bullying, harassment, or discrimination because you’re LGBTQI+, file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Education Department today.

Things to know about filing a complaint
  • You are Entitled to File a Claim

    Nearly every K-12 school receives some level of federal funding and is therefore protected under Title IX, which entitles you to file a bullying, harassment, or discrimination claim with OCR.

  • Time is of the Essence

    A complaint must be filed within 180 days of when the bullying, harassment, or discrimination occurred.

  • Your Confidentiality is Assured

    Every claim remains confidential and will not be shared without permission.

  • A Third Party May File a Claim on Behalf of Another Person

    In other words, the person making the complaint doesn’t have to be the one who experienced the harassment. A friend, family member or school faculty member can file the complaint.

  • It’s Safe

    The school cannot retaliate against anyone who has made a complaint, or testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation or proceeding under Title IX.

  • You Must Complete the Entire Form in Order for the Report to be Counted

    Make sure to fill out the entire form. Incomplete information will result in a dismissal of your complaint.

How to file a complaint

Go to http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html and read the instructions. Click “Continue to Electronic Complaint Form” (https://ocrcas.ed.gov/) at the bottom of the page to get started.

Get Help

If you have questions on how to take action, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

GLSEN National
policy@glsen.org, www.glsen.org

PFLAG National
Diego Miguel Sanchez, APR, Director of Advocacy, Policy & Partnerships
202.657.6997, dsanchez@pflag.org, www.pflag.org

The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
400 Maryland Ave SW Washington, DC 20202-1100
800-421-3481, TTY: 800-877-8339
Email recommended: ocr@ed.gov
If you have difficulty understanding English, you can request assistance, free of charge, at Ed.Language.Assistance@ed.gov, or by calling 1- 800-872-5327 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339)