Students & Schools
In schools throughout New England and the nation, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth are making wonderful waves. They are coming out of the closet and making their presence felt in every aspect of school life: from the classroom to the football team, from the stage to the math club. As LGBT students become more visible, more and more schools are taking active steps to protect all students from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
At the same time, many schools fail to create healthy environments where LGBT youth can learn and grow in safety. The overwhelming majority of LGBT students experience homophobic name-calling in school, and anti-gay sexual harassment, threats, and physical assault are all too commonplace. Anti-gay insults flow so freely in many schools that they frequently receive no attention at all from faculty or staff. And when students report harassment, some administrators fail to address the problem appropriately, and others turn a deaf ear altogether. We can do better.
If you are a student in a public high school in New England, a safe, respectful education is your right. You have the right to attend school free of sexual harassment, and without being harassed, by students or faculty, based on your sexual orientation or gender expression. And you have the right to form a Gay/Straight Alliance and have it treated the same as all other extracurricular groups.
GLAD’s Work On This Issue
LGBT students deserve to be able to take full advantage of their education: to attend school in safety, to participate fully in classes and activities, and to have their whole selves treated with respect.
GLAD presented testimony June 20 before the MA Commission on GLBT Youth panel addressing the needs of youth across the state. Here is an excerpt… More →
Today, the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and other child welfare organizations filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”)… More →