LGBTQIA+ students often face discrimination and harassment at school from students, teachers, and administrators. School officials also may try to prevent the formation of gay-straight alliances - extracurricular clubs dedicated to supporting LGBTQIA+ students and educating the school and community about LGBTQIA+ issues. If you are experiencing difficulty at school, it is important for you to know your rights so that you can be your own advocate! Please note that the information and resources below are for public school students. If you have questions or believe your rights have been violated, please contact us for help!
- Know Your Rights: A Guide for LGBTQIA+ High School Students: A downloadable flyer that can be printed and distributed. Provides a quick summary of the rights of LGBTQIA+ students in public schools.
- Know Your Rights: A Handbook for Public School Students in Pennsylvania: A handbook that covers a range of topics affecting public and charter school students. It includes a special section on the rights of LGBTQIA+ students.
- Open Letter to School Officials Regarding Formation of a GSA: A letter from an ACLU lawyer to school officials about gay-straight alliances. The letter explains the Equal Access Act and reviews some of the court decisions that have upheld the law's requirement that GSAs be treated the same and be subject to the same rules as other extracurricular clubs in the district.
- The national ACLU's website for LGBTQIA+ high school students includes information and resources for starting a GSA, conducting an anti-bullying training, and getting your school to establish an anti-bullying policy, among other topics. It also has a section specifically dedicated to transgender students.
- Out in the Silence: A documentary that follows the journey of several LGBTQIA+ individuals in a small town in northwestern Pennsylvania. One of these individuals - a former ACLU client - is a public chool student who has been severely bullied by his peers and discriminated against by teachers and administrators. If you'd like to bring this film to your school or community, please contact the producers or your local ACLU office!