know your rights

If you are being harassed, or witness harassment, report it to the principal, a counselor or another official immediately, and keep notes with dates and descriptions of all incidents and when you reported them. Being silent may seem easier, but it will not end the abuse. You have the right to be yourself and safe.


Teachers and other school officials do NOT have the right to "out" you to anyone without your permission or use your sexual orientation to manipulate you in any way.


Sometimes schools try to silence students who are open about their sexual orientation. If you go to a public school, you have a constitutional right to be out of the closet and to express your opinions.


Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) are non-curricular student clubs - just like Chess Clubs or Key Clubs - that allow students with a shared interest to meet and participate in discussions and activities. According to the federal Equal Access Act, public high schools that allow students to form non-curricular clubs must also allow students to start GSAs.


Public schools cannot stop you from bringing a same-sex date to prom or other school dances. Federal law protects this as freedom of expression, and you cannot be barred from prom or other school dances because of your date's gender.


Note: This resource was created by the American Civil Liberties Union. You can also find the resource by clicking here