Take Action!

Bullying. Schools must protect students who are bullied because of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, just as they must protect students who are bullied because of their race, religion, or other protected categories.

Discrimination. Schools must address disciplinary infractions equally regardless of a students sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

If a school permits students to form non-curricular clubs like Key Club or the drama club, it must also permit students to form Gay Straight Alliances

Expression. Students have a right to be out at school. Schools may not prohibit a student from bringing a same-sex date to the prom or any other school event.

If a school permits students to wear t-shirts expression support for political candidates, opinions about abortion, or other issues, the school must permit students to wear pro-gay t-shirts.

Privacy. Schools may not reveal students’ sexual orientation or gender identity/expression to their families or anyone else without the students’ permission, even if the students are out at school, unless their is a legitimate school-related reason for doing so.


This website has discusses many actions you can take to protect your rights and make your school safer and more welcoming for LGBT students. For more information about your legal rights, see What’s Your Problem? at the ACLU. For links to handouts, letters and legal briefs from the ACLU and other organization, visit the ACLU LGBT Youth & Schools Library. For additional ideas on how to take action, see the Change Your School section.

If you or somebody you know has been bullied or treated unfairly because of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, contact the ACLU of Illinois or the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance.