HRC Blog

Protecting LGBT Students in Fort Worth Schools

The following post comes from Welcoming Schools Director Kim Westheimer:

LGBT students in Fort Worth Public Schools are one step closer to being protected against discrimination and harassment.  Last week, the school district joined a growing number of districts that explicitly protect students against discrimination based on real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender-expression.

The new policy, which was unanimously approved by the school board, reads in part:

Prohibited harassment of a student is defined as physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct based on the student’s race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, disability or any other basis prohibited by law.

The board action also allows the district to mandate "a comprehensive education program for the school community" in response to bullying incidents.

The new policy should help protect students from the kinds of harassment that are documented in HRC’s new research, Growing up LGBT in America.  According to the report, youth identify school climate and bullying issues as the second most important problem in their lives. (The biggest problem was non-accepting families.)

You can read HRC’s groundbreaking report at http://www.hrc.org/youth.

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