This week marks the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, which declared segregation of schools unconstitutional. To commemorate the occasion, the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools is holding events across the country to draw attention to the lingering inequality in our nation’s schools systems.

One of the principles of the Alliance is that “Schools must be welcoming and respectful places for all.”  The Human Rights Campaign agrees that all schools should provide an inclusive environment where all students feel safe and respected.

Unfortunately, a supportive school climate is not the reality that many LGBT youth experience.  According to HRC’s survey of 10,000 youth, Growing Up LGBT in America, just over half of LGBT youth report being verbally harassed at school, and around three quarters of LGBT youth say they hear negative messages about being LGBT.

HRC works to improve the LGBT cultural competence of community institutions throughout the country, including schools.  That is why we created Welcoming Schools, a program which provides resources, training and technical assistance to help elementary schools take a comprehensive approach to school climate and bullying prevention. The Welcoming Schools approach is LGBT-inclusive, and creates school climates that welcome all family structures and all students.

HRC will continue to work to ensure that all students are provided a strong learning environment where they will be given the opportunity to succeed.

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