Policy Position Statements

Civil Rights School Climate Principles

Schools should be places of liberation where every student can thrive and reach their full potential. Three decades of GLSEN research documents the fact that LGBTQ+ students disproportionately experience school climates that are hostile to their overall well-being and educational attainment. This is especially true for LGBTQ+ students who are Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), transgender, nonbinary, and students with disabilities. All students deserve a K-12 education system that allows them to learn and grow free from harm. In order to achieve that goal, LGBTQ+ students must be afforded the equal opportunity to learn in a liberated and liberating school environment.

Student standing in the hallway


Private School Programs

The movement to use taxpayer funds to subsidize private school programs at the expense of the public education system continues to put LGBTQ+ students and educators, particularly those who are also Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), and people with disabilities, at greater risk. These programs primarily fund private religious schools that can sanction discrimination.

Gender Affirming & Inclusive Athletics

For all students, having the opportunity to participate in sports results in positive outcomes, including physical development, social skills, and psychological well-being. Transgender (trans) and nonbinary students should have the same access to athletic participation as their classmates. To ensure fairness and equality in athletic participation for all students, state athletic associations should develop guidance for local education agencies and schools that affirms and supports the right of trans and nonbinary students to participate in interscholastic and intramural sports. Check out our updated resource for more information.

Ball on a field

Inclusive curriculum infographic.

GLSEN supports statewide curricular standards that are inclusive of LGBTQ communities, persons with disabilities, communities of color, and all marginalized communities in alignment with its core mission. Inclusive curricular standards that support creation of inclusive curriculum at the local level can help strengthen educational attainment and health outcomes for LGBTQ students who see their full identities reflected in the classroom.

Our State Inclusive Curricular Standards Guide addresses the key questions and unique roles of statewide curricular standards, the positive impacts of inclusive curriculum, and supports that effectively implement policies in your schools.

GLSEN supports federal, state, and local policies that establish safe and inclusive learning environments for all students. GLSEN calls for the elimination of punitive and exclusionary discipline policies that differentially impact LGBTQ students, especially those who are also students of color and students with disabilities.

Our position statement on restorative discipline can provide more information about how a student’s learning environment is significantly influenced by many factors including a school’s discipline policies and practices.

Hands drawing on a protest poster.