Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Students, parents and teachers: GLAD’s Legal InfoLine wants to hear from you!

GLAD’s Legal InfoLine is free and confidential. That means that if you call the InfoLine nothing will be shared with your parents, school or anyone else unless you specifically gives us permission to do so. You can reach the InfoLine by phone, live chat or email—just go to www.glad.org/rights and click on “Contact the InfoLine.”

GLAD has always been involved in youth issues and over the years has won a number of important victories, such as:

· winning the right for a student to take his boyfriend to the prom,

· winning the right for students to form a GSA and for the GSA to receive the same treatment and privileges as any other student extracurricular group,

· winning protections for LGBT students who are being harassed and discriminated against,

· winning the right for transgender students to dress in a way that fits their gender identity,

· helping to create and pass strong anti-bullying laws in Massachusetts and New Hampshire,

· and many more.

Currently, some examples of GLAD’s youth work include:

· fighting on behalf of a transgender student who was forced to change schools due to harassment

· helping to get an anti-bullying bill passed in Maine, and

· producing a video about the rights of public school students in Massachusetts—it’s a great video! Take a look at: http://www.glad.org/current/video/got-lgbtq-rights-yes/.

Students in all of the New England states have legal protections against harassment, bullying and discrimination, and GLAD is working to strengthen these and make sure that they are enforced. In addition, students have the right to:

· wear clothing that fits your gender identity

· express your point of view and feel safe in doing so, even on controversial topics

· form a Gay/Straight Alliance on the same terms as all other extracurricular student groups.

GLAD has a number of publications that address legal issues pertaining to students and schools at http://www.glad.org/rights/publications/c/students-schools/.

GLAD wants to do more work in this area and to learn more about the ways in which GLAD’s legal expertise can more effectively address the needs of young people. We encourage students, parents and teachers to call GLAD’s Legal InfoLine if they encounter a situation involving harassment, bullying or discrimination; want to know the rights of students (and teachers) in the six New England states, or want to make suggestions about additional ways in which GLAD can use its legal expertise to address youth issues.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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