Human Rights Watch issued a report this week calling the government’s failure to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth from discrimination and harassment in school a human rights abuse. The report, Hatred in the Hallways, not only documents anti-LGBT bias in the nation’s schools, but offers first-hand testimony from LGBT youth, and gives policy recommendations at the local, state, and federal level for positive short- and long-term change. It chronicles the experience of 140 youth and 130 youth service providers from 7 states. Some of its recommendations include:
- all school nondiscrimination policies should include sexual orientation and gender identity;
states must pass legislation banning discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity;
- schools and universities should mandate training for educators on diversity issues, including sexual orientation and gender identity issues;
- school libraries should make information on LGBT issues available and visible; this material should be up-to-date, and obtainable without a request to the librarian or a parent’s signature;
- dress codes should be applied in a gender-neutral manner;
- US must ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.