In 2001, Human Rights Watch published Hatred in the Hallways: Violence and Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students in US Schools.
The report documented rampant bullying and discrimination against LGBT students in schools across the country, and urged policymakers and school officials to take concrete steps to respect and protect the rights of LGBT youth.
He added that school administrators dismissed his complaints of verbal and physical abuse, blaming him for being “so open about it.”In some instances, teachers themselves mocked LGBT youth or joined the bullying.
Lynette G., the mother of a young girl with a gay father in South Dakota, recalled that when her daughter was eight, “she ran home because they were teasing her.
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.
This undermines a number of fundamental human rights, including LGBT students’ rights to education, personal security, freedom from discrimination, access to information, free expression, association and privacy.
Acanthus R., a 17-year-old pansexual, non-binary transgender student in Utah, said it was “like a little mental pinch” when teachers used the wrong pronouns.Such restrictions make it difficult or impossible for LGBT youth to get information about health and well-being on the same terms as heterosexual peers.The effects of these laws are not only limited to health or sexuality education classes.Like, ‘Oh, your dad is a cocksucker, a faggot, he sucks dick.’ …She saw a teacher laughing and that traumatized her even worse.” Students also reported difficulty accessing information about LGBT issues from teachers and counselors, and found little information in school libraries and on school computers.
In some districts, this silence was exacerbated by state law.