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As students and teachers describe in this report, they also chilled discussions of LGBT topics and themes in history, government, psychology, and English classes.Many LGBT youth have organized gay-straight alliances (GSAs), which can serve as important resources for students and as supportive spaces to counteract bullying and institutional silence about issues of importance to them.As a result of these factors, LGBT students are more likely than heterosexual peers to suffer abuse.
In others, protections that do exist are inadequate or unenforced.
“It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but eventually you bruise.” Comprehensive approaches are urgently needed to make school environments welcoming for LGBT students and staff, and to allow students to learn and socialize with peers without fearing exclusion, humiliation, or violence.
Above all: Human Rights Watch conducted research for this report between November 2015 and May 2016 in five US states: Alabama, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah.
In some districts, this silence was exacerbated by state law.
In Alabama, Texas, Utah, and five other US states, antiquated states laws restrict discussions of homosexuality in schools.As transgender and gender non-conforming students have become more visible, too, many states and school districts have ignored their needs and failed to ensure they enjoy the same academic and extracurricular benefits as their non-transgender peers.