LGBT Students Need Protections

Nine out of 10 LGBT students report that they experience harassment at their school. Three-fifths feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and one-third report that they have skipped a day of school almost every month because they feel unsafe.

ACLU brings to light three incidents that demand we need to protect our LGBT students across the country – a need more pressing than ever-

A female student in a northern California school faced daily anti-gay harassment and discrimination from teachers and school staff and was required to participate in a school-sponsored “counseling” group designed to discourage students from being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

A male freshman at a high school in Tennessee was sent home from school for wearing a T-shirt that said, “I [Love] Lady Gay Gay.” Before that, he had long been subjected to daily anti-gay harassment at school, including threats of physical violence. He was not only unable to get help from the school, he was told by school employees that he had “brought it on himself by coming out.”

A female student in a public high school in Orange County, California was repeatedly singled out for discipline (including a one-week suspension), had her sexual orientation revealed to her family without her permission by school officials, and was forced to transfer to another school in the middle of the second semester. The student, who previously had straight-A grades and a spotless disciplinary record, was punished for occasionally showing affection towards her girlfriend, even though heterosexual students were routinely allowed to hold hands, hug and kiss on campus.