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Youth | GSAs/LGBTQ Clubs | Rhode Island

Rhode Island GSAs/LGBTQ Clubs Q&A

Do students have the right to form Gay/Straight Alliances in their schools?

Yes, as to high school students; probably, as to middle school students. A federal law known as the “Equal Access Act” requires that all federally funded secondary schools provide equal access to extra-curricular clubs. So long as a school has at least one student-led extra-curricular club, it must allow additional clubs to organize, and must provide them with equal access to meeting spaces, facilities, and funding without discriminating based on a club’s purpose, be that purpose religious, philosophical, political, or otherwise (20 U.S.C. § 4071). GLAD successfully intervened on behalf of students seeking to form a GSA at South Kingston High School on this very basis.

If your school is preventing you from forming a GSA, contact GLAD Answers.