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LGBT Students! You have the right to be yourself!

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Gender Queer, LGBT, GLBT, LGBTQ, GLBTQ, GLBTA, LGBTA, LGBTI, FTM, MTF, SGL, MSM, LGBTIQQ, QUILTBAG, LGBTetc., LGBTQetc., or an ally?


No matter where you fall on the spectrum of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, or what you call yourself, you shouldn’t have to be afraid of yourself in school.

LGBTQ youth should have the freedom to be open (or not) about their identity and ideas in schools and government facilities. The ACLU of Tennessee strives to protect their right to be safe and visible, and to have their identity embraced rather than belittled or erased.

We help students protect their right to free expression, to establish gay-straight alliance clubs, and to be taught in an environment respectful of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Students should always feel free to contact us with legal concerns.

Check out our information for students; parents of gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, questioning or transgender youth; teachers; and administrators. Learn about your rights, what you can do to make a change, download resources, and get support here.

Know Your Rights


Create Change

  • Support Student Safety Campaign – Nashville, Tennessee – They did it, so can you!

    In 2007, a group of former high school students in Nashville, Tennessee, recognized a bullying problem in their school. Not everyone was specifically protected under the anti-bullying bullying policy the schools had in place. They decided to take action, launching the Support Student Safety Coalition.

    They sought to revise their school board’s anti-bullying policy to include gender identity and sexual orientation. In one year, they built a team, gathered support, and presented their case to the school board.

    On October 10, 2008, just one year after they launched their efforts, the Metro Nashville School Board unanimously adopted the comprehensive anti-bullying policy. The ACLU-TN Student Organizing Manual, to be released soon, outlines their efforts and success as well as steps students can take to promote a change that they seek in their own school or community.

  • Student Organizing Manual - * Coming Soon *
  • How To Start A GSA Video
  • Get A Safe Schools Policy
  • Get A Safe School Training
  • Get A Nondiscrimination Policy

ACLU-TN Fights for You

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What’s your problem? Common issues faced by LGBT youth and their allies and what the law says about them.

If you suspect that your school is mistreating you because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, here are some basic rules to help you out.

GENERAL TIPS
If you suspect that your school is mistreating you because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, here are some basic rules to help you out:

Be respectful and follow the rules!

Don’t give your school any excuses for treating you badly by behaving badly yourself. This can make things harder to solve in the long run. Explain your grievances in a mature, respectable manner.

Document everything!

Keep a record of the ‘Six Ws” each time you are harassed:
1. WHO was involved,
2. WHAT happened,
3. WHERE it happened,
4. WHEN it happened,
5. WHO you reported it to,
6. And if there were any WITNESSES.

Keep copies of anything in writing that you file with the school and be sure to write down the date. Also take notes about any additional conversations you have with school administrators, and be sure to write down the dates for those too.

File a complaint!

Request assistance from the ACLU of Tennessee.

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