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Report Calls for Policy Changes for LGBT Youth

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.

Read Hatred in the Hallways

Learn more about LGBT student issues from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network

Sources:

GLSEN, Press Release Ð May 30, 2001 and Human Rights Watch, Hatred in the Hallways, Recommendations Ð May 30, 2001 and GLSEN 1999 National School Climate Survey

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