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Hatred in the Hallways

October 19, 2001

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

Hatred in the Hallways: Violence and Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students in U.S. Schools, a report released by Human Rights Watch, looks at human rights violations such as harassment, violence, and the deprivation of the right to education perpetrated against students on the basis of sexual orientation.

The results of the study, conducted from October 1999 to October 2000 with 140 young people between the ages of 12 and 21 and with 130 adults, including youth service providers, teachers, administrators, counselors, and parents, resulted in key recommendations to local school boards and individual schools, as well as city, state, and government agencies. The authors conclude that government and schools have failed to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students from human rights violations. They go on to make numerous recommendations for schools and school boards, as well as local, state, and federal governments.

Key recommendations include:

  • All school districts should review their nondiscrimination policies to include protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity. If such protections are missing, they should immediately amend the policies to include explicit language prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • All school districts should immediately evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of their nondiscrimination policies and, where there exists a gap between policy and practice, take immediate measures to close the gap by training all school staff and students.
  • State legislatures should enact laws to protect students from harassment and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • The U.S. Department of Education should monitor school districts for compliance with the principle of nondiscrimination, intervene where the policies are failing, and include sexual orientation and gender identity in any data collection tools measuring discrimination in education.
  • State governments should ensure that all university programs that educate state-certified teachers include mandatory training on working with diverse students, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and those who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Federal and state governments should enact laws to protect administrators, teachers, counselors, other school staff, and all other employees from discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

For a complete report, contact Human Rights Watch at 212/290-4700 or fax 212/736-1300 or download a copy at http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/uslgbt/toc.htm.

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. It is a part of the publication SHOP Talk: School Health Opportunities and Progress Bulletin.
 
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