Too often, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth face unfair treatment at school. Schools regularly allow LGBT kids to be bullied and school staff sometimes even participate in the harassment.*

At times, schools treat LGBT youth differently from other students. Bullying and unequal treatment hurt LGBT students and create a negative climate for the entire school community. A school that is unsafe for LGBT kids or discriminates against them is also probably breaking the law.

Knowing your rights and taking action to protect them may stop the unfair treatment. If it doesn’t, people at the ACLU of Illinois and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance can help.


* In a recent Illinois survey, 74% of students reported hearing their classmates say “faggot” or “dyke” and 83% reported hearing other students say “that’s so gay” or “you’re so gay.” Eleven percent (11%) of students also reported hearing teachers or other school personnel make homophobic remarks. (Nearly half of the 1,000 high school students surveyed nationally reported witnessing their classmates being called homophobic slurs). See From Teasing to Torment: A Report on School Climate in Illinois from GLSEN (Oct. 2006). See also 2009 National School Climate Survey.