School Resources in New England

Schools are meant to be student-centered places where young people are safe and can learn what they need to succeed in life. Yet, extremist politicians and well-funded national groups are trying to make public schools and school libraries a site of attacks on LGBTQ+ people, especially youth, and families. 

In addition to putting students at risk, these efforts seek to extend the parental preferences of some into every classroom and add to the already heavy burden on teachers and other professionals who work tirelessly every day to support and educate kids.

Youth in school have rights, and our public schools have a responsibility to ensure all students, including LGBTQ+ students, are safe, supported, and able to learn.

We know that many LGBTQ+ students, their families,teachers, librarians, and other staff are wondering what the past year of anti-LGBTQ+ attacks will mean for students and schools. GLAD and our partners are sharing these resources on your rights as a student, parent, and educator.

GLAD is involved in youth-related cases and advocacy work across the country. Learn more here.

Find additional resources and organizations specific to your state:

LGBTQ+ Students, Know Your Rights!

Student Rights

This information applies to public schools and, in some cases, private schools that receive federal funding. If you have questions about your rights in private school, contact GLAD Answers.

Self Expression

  • You have a right to be referred to by your preferred name and pronouns.
  • You have a right to dress and express yourself in a manner consistent with your gender identity.
  • You have a right to free speech and expression. This includes the right to respectfully express opinions or ideas which may offend others – including discussion of LGBTQ+ topics – and to disagree with others. Remember that others also have the right to respectfully express their own ideas and opinions.

Prom and Other Dances

  • Your school cannot stop you from taking a date of the same sex or gender to your prom or school dance, as long as your choice of date meets the rules applied to all students.
  • Your school cannot treat dates of the same sex or gender differently, including by requiring only same-sex dates to have parental permission.


  • You have a right to access information about LGBTQ+ subjects, including educational websites. Your school’s internet filters should not prevent this access.


  • Prohibitions on discrimination apply to all school programs, including sports.

School Records

  • You have a right to have your school and medical records kept confidential.
  • You can ask your school(s) to amend their records – even after graduation – to reflect your current name and gender identity.

Federal Protections 

Title IX is our federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. 

The federal Department of Education Office of Civil Rights issued a public notice in June of 2021 clarifying that transgender, nonbinary, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) students are protected from discrimination at school under Title IX. 

Advocate for LGBTQ+ Students

Is your child’s school safe and affirming for LGBTQ+ students? Many students and families wait too long to get help. Don’t wait. Advocate for your student’s rights today. Learn more here.

Teachers & School Administrators
Is your school meeting its legal obligations? Consider the checklist for schools.

Resources for Supporting LGBTQ+ Students


Center for American Progress | Fair Play: The Importance of Sports Participation for Transgender Youth — A report on the important benefits of equal participation in sports for all young people, including transgender youth, despite legislative pushback.

GLSEN | Changing the Game — Resources for educators and students to ensure that physical education classes and athletics are inclusive for LGBTQ+ people.

HRC Foundation | Play to Win: Improving the Lives of LGBTQ Youth in Sports — An overview of the state of LGBTQ inclusion in youth sports.

Education Policy

GLSEN | Model Local Education Agency Bullying and Harassment Prevention Policy — Model policy for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) intended to provide a framework that helps educators address bullying and harassment in schools.

GLSEN | Model Local Education Agency Policy on Transgender and Nonbinary Students — Model policy for LEAs intended to serve as a resource to LEAs on how best to meet the needs of transgender and nonbinary students.

GLSEN | Nondiscrimination Protections and Inclusion of LGBTQ+ Students in K-12 Learning Communities —Recommendations for State Education Agencies.

School Climate

US Department of Education and Department of Justice | Confronting Anti-LGBTQI+ Harassment in Schools — A resource for students and families on how the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division (CRT) at the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education can help enforce federal laws that protect students from discrimination.

US Department of Education | U.S. Department of Education Toolkit: Creating Inclusive and Nondiscriminatory School Environments for LGBTQI+ Students — Federal resources for students, schools, and parents as well as examples of policies and practices that schools and districts can consider developing to support LGBTQI+ students and families.

PFLAG | Cultivating Respect: Safe Schools for All — A guide with ten meaningful ways to make sure that all kids have access to education in a safe and supportive environment.

GLSEN | 2021 National School Climate Survey — Documents the unique challenges LGBTQ+ students face and identifies interventions that can improve school climate.

GLSEN | The Safe Space Kit: Guide to Being an Ally to LGBT Students — Designed to help educators create a safe space for LGBT students.

HRC Foundation | Welcoming Schools — A bias-based bullying prevention program providing LGBTQ+ and gender-inclusive professional development training, lesson plans, booklist, and resources specifically designed for educators and youth-serving professionals.

PubMed Central | Promoting School Safety for LGBTQ and All Students — An article reviewing the research foundations of strategies to support LGBTQ and all students to be safe and thrive at school and concludes with recommendations for multiple audiences: policy-makers, school personnel, parents, and students.

Transgender Students

NCLR and Gender Spectrum | Schools in Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools — A guide highlighting best practices for supporting transgender students while offering strategies for building upon and aligning them with each school’s culture.

Harvard Law School and NCLR | Trans Youth Handbook — A legal resource guide that covers the rights of trans youth across a wide spectrum of situations, including identity documents, school, health care, non-affirming care environments, and work.

Additional Resources for Educators

GLSEN | GSA Study Report — A comprehensive report on the experiences of students and advisors in GSAs across the United States.

GLSEN | LGBTQ+ Educator Rights — An overview of the rights of LGBTQ+ educators and how to file complaints of discrimination.

HRC Foundation | Advocating for LGBTQ Students with Disabilities — A guide for educators and parents/guardians on supporting LGBTQ+ students with an IEP or 504 Plan.

Get Support

National Organizations

  • Athlete Ally educates athletic communities at all levels — sport governing bodies, teams, and individual athletes — to understand obstacles to inclusion for LGBTQ people in sports and how they can build inclusive communities on their teams or within their organizations.
  • GLSEN (Gay Lesbian, Straight Education Network)  ensures that every member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
  • GSA Network is a next-generation LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization that empowers and trains queer, trans and allied youth leaders to advocate, organize, and mobilize an intersectional movement for safer schools and healthier communities.
  • History Unerased encourages confidence in delivering LGBT and other erased histories through the mentoring and support of educators — by educators.
  • PFLAG is the first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their families.
  • Safe Schools for All is a coalition of LGBTQ+ supporting organizations that shares information on how rights of LGBTQ+ students in schools.
  • Trans Athlete is a resource for students, athletes, coaches, and administrators to find information about trans inclusion in athletics at various levels of play.

For more youth-focused organizations, visit Youth Organizations | National.

GLAD Answers

Contact GLAD Answers for free and confidential legal information, assistance, and referrals. Complete the online intake form at, email, or leave a voicemail at 800-455-GLAD.