GLSEN & 40+ Organizations Call for LGBTQ+ Protections Through Civil Rights



GLSEN and 40+ Organizations Call for LGBTQ+ Protections Through Mandatory U.S. Department of Education K-12 Data Collection

Civil Rights Data Collection critical in addressing discrimination in K-12 schools

NEW YORK (Feb. 11, 2022) – GLSEN, the leading national organization on LGBTQ+ issues in K-12 education, today submitted an open letter signed by education and civil rights organizations supporting the new and revised measures in the U.S. Department of Education’s 2021-2022 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). GLSEN and the more than 40+ signatory organizations applaud these measures and outline additional changes to further strengthen our understanding of–and accountability for–school conditions for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, nonbinary, two-spirit, intersex (LGBTQ+) youth, including those who are Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) and students with disabilities.

Since nearly all schools are required to participate in this data collection, the CRDC presents a unique national snapshot of school conditions. It is an important tool for enforcing civil rights protections in K-12 schools, including Title IX’s prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity).

The letter emphasized strong support for new measures that illuminate school conditions for LGBTQ+ youth, including two measures specifically related to the experiences of transgender and nonbinary youth:

  • Allegations of harassment or bullying on the basis of gender identity. If approved, this would be the first time student allegations of harassment or bullying on the basis of gender identity will be identified in K-12 schools nationwide.
  • A nonbinary gender identity category for reporting student enrollment records. For nonbinary students who have corrected their student records to affirm their gender identity, this change makes it possible for them to be counted as such—and not misgendered—in this important federal survey.

“Currently, we are experiencing an erasure of LGBTQ+ communities, identities, and experiences in our schools,” said Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, GLSEN Executive Director. “For trans and nonbinary young people who have felt excluded and invisible at school, or who have learned their gender identity would be randomly assigned, this measure makes it more likely that their identities are accurately recorded and valid.”

To read the full letter, including recommendations for changes to further enable an evaluation of school conditions and discriminatory practices impacting LGBTQ+ youth, click here.

Notable signatories of the letter include:

  • Advocates for Youth
  • American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
  • American Association of University Women
  • American Psychological Association
  • American School Counselor Association
  • Athlete Ally
  • California Women's Law Center
  • Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research (CLEAR)
  • CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
  • EDGE Consulting Partners
  • Equality California
  • Equality Federation
  • Family Equality
  • FORGE, Inc.
  • Forum for Youth Investment
  • Healthy Teen Network
  • Howard Brown Health
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth
  • Legal Momentum, the Women's Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Los Angeles LGBT Center
  • Mazzoni Center
  • Movement Advancement Project
  • National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity
  • National Black Justice Coalition
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • National Center for Transgender Equality
  • National Coalition for LGBTQ Health
  • National Education Association
  • National LGBTQ Task Force
  • National Organization for Women
  • National Women's Law Center
  • PFLAG National
  • PowerOn, a program of LGBT Tech
  • Silver State Equality
  • Stop Sexual Assault in Schools
  • The Trevor Project
  • TransFamily Support Services
  • True Colors United
  • Women's Law Project


GLSEN works to create safe and inclusive schools for all. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Since 1990, GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ+ students across the United States and helped launch an international movement to address LGBTQ+ issues in education.