Do students have the right to form Gay Straight Alliances (GSA) in their schools even if the principal or community opposes it?
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 brought and won a case for students at West High in Manchester, New Hampshire on this very basis.
If your school is preventing you from forming a GSA, contact GLAD Answers.