Good News for Gay-Straight Alliances

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Some good news from the feds: the U.S. Department of Education has just sent a "dear colleague" letter to school districts in Washington and across the nation reminding them of students' legal right to form gay-straight alliances (GSAs). GSAs are student clubs where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and straight students support one another and promote acceptance for all, regardless of sexual orientation. Under the federal Equal Access Act, public schools are required to treat all extracurricular clubs equally.

Many school districts in Washington have GSAs, and down through the years the ACLU has provided support when students seeking to form a GSA have run into resistance from their school administration or even the student government. New GSAs continue to be formed, and most recently we reported on the club at Kennewick High School's success in gaining the same access to school resources enjoyed by other non-curricular student clubs.

If you need advice on your legal rights to form a GSA at school, the ACLU-WA wants to hear from you.