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Posted by / 15-Nov-2017 10:12

Social pressures are part of the school experience of many students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.But the experience can be particularly difficult for LGBT students, who often struggle to make sense of their identities, lack support from family and friends, and encounter negative messaging about LGBT people at school and in their community.In some districts, this silence was exacerbated by state law.In Alabama, Texas, Utah, and five other US states, antiquated states laws restrict discussions of homosexuality in schools.In 2001, Human Rights Watch published Hatred in the Hallways: Violence and Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students in US Schools.The report documented rampant bullying and discrimination against LGBT students in schools across the country, and urged policymakers and school officials to take concrete steps to respect and protect the rights of LGBT youth.As this report documents, however, these clubs continue to encounter obstacles from some school administrators that make it difficult for them to form and operate.When GSAs were allowed to form, some students said they were subject to more stringent requirements than other clubs, were left out of school-wide activities, or had their advertising defaced or destroyed.

Researchers spoke with 358 current or former students and 145 teachers, administrators, parents, service providers, and advocates for LGBT youth. Researchers also spoke with interviewees in pairs, trios, or small groups when students asked to meet together or when time and space constraints required meeting with members of student organizations simultaneously.Josh Greer, a student who has been the target of bullying and discrimination in school, writes in his journal in his bedroom in Cache Country, UT, October 2016.© 2016 Mariam Dwedar for Human Rights Watch Outside the home, schools are the primary vehicles for educating, socializing, and providing services to young people in the United States.As transgender and gender non-conforming students have become more visible, too, many states and school districts have ignored their needs and failed to ensure they enjoy the same academic and extracurricular benefits as their non-transgender peers.This undermines a number of fundamental human rights, including LGBT students’ rights to education, personal security, freedom from discrimination, access to information, free expression, association and privacy.

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