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Know Your Rights
Now more than ever, it’s important for LGBTQ students to know that you have the right to a safe and supportive learning environment.
If you experience any problems at school first talk to your principal or another official. Check out our quick guide to meeting with decision makers for tips. If nothing happens, it's time to take action.
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
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.
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.
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.
Schools should not out you to anyone without your permission, even if you’re out to some people at school.
NOTE: This resource was created in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). You can also find the resource by clicking here.