Some lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth experience supportive, welcoming school environments where they are physically and emotionally safe and their LGBTQ identity is respected. But others may experience unwelcoming, unsafe, and unsupportive conditions in schools.
Research has found that LGBTQ youth are more likely to experience stress and fear in school than are non-LGBT youth. This experience is associated with verbal harassment (e.g., being subject to name calling), physical harassment (e.g., being pushed or shoved), and physical assault (e.g., being punched or kicked) because of their sexual identity and gender identity or expression.
Public schools are required by law to address harassment against LGBTQ students just as they are required to address harassment against other students. Public schools are required to ensure that LGBTQ students have equal access to all school activities and programs.
The United States Constitution (the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause) and Title IX (Title 9) (a federal statute located at 20 U.S.C. §1681) are two of the laws that provide these protections against LGBTQ discrimination in public schools.