It’s that time of year again! Heading back to school can be an exciting time for parents and a stressful time for students — especially if that child is (or is perceived to be) lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender.
LGBT students face much higher rates of bullying and harassment than non-LGBT students, and this harassment can be so severe that it destroys its victims.
Fortunately, there is a caring community that has LGBT students’ backs. This year, our colleagues at the Education Law Center advocated for changes to the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Code of Student Conduct that strengthen protections for LGBT students. Earlier this month, the school board adopted their recommendations. It feels good to know that our returning students will be entering schools that have stronger rules against harassment and bullying, more information about how to seek help and support, and a new dress code that explicitly acknowledges students’ right to dress in accordance with their gender identity.
We applaud the Education Law Center and the Pittsburgh Public Schools for taking these important steps to ensure that schools are inclusive, safe and welcoming to all students.
Senior Staff Attorney
Women’s Law Project
Western Pennsylvania Office