You have the right to be safe and to be yourself at school. To learn more, visit the ACLU’s Safe Schools project.
Think your school violated your rights? Tell the ACLU!
You Have the Right to Be Safe in School
If you’re being harassed or bullied or see it happening to someone else, you should report it immediately to an administrator, counselor, or other school official. They have a legal responsibility to respond. If they don’t, contact the ACLU.
You Have the Right to Be Yourself in School
Public schools are required to respect your gender identity and expression.
- What you say: You can talk and write about who you are and about issues relating to gender identity, gender expression, and being transgender.
- What you wear: The right to free expression includes your clothes. As long as what you wear would be appropriate if worn by other students, such as a skirt or a tuxedo, then you should be able to wear it if you’re transgender or gender nonconforming.
- Prom and other school events: If you’re a trans girl, can you run for homecoming queen? If you’re a trans boy, can you wear a tuxedo to prom? Yes!
You Have the Right to Be Trans or Transition at School
Your right to be yourself in school includes the right to be transgender or to transition your gender in school.
- Chosen name and pronouns: There is no law that says schools can only use students’ legal names on class rosters, in the classroom, etc.
- Privacy: Your transgender status, legal name, and gender assigned at birth are all confidential information. If your school reveals that information to anyone without your permission, it could be violating federal law.
- Locker rooms and restrooms: Students have a right to use school restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity.
Check out these model school policies for trans & gender nonconforming students & advice for school administrators!