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Lambda Legal: How the Law Protects LGBTQ Youth

The U.S. Constitution guarantees all people, including LGBTQ people, “equal protection of the laws.” State constitutions contain similar protections. This means that public schools can’t single out LGBTQ students for negative treatment just because school officials disapprove of being gay or feel uncomfortable around people whose gender identity or expression is different from theirs. When it comes to peer conflicts and abuse, courts have made clear that the federal Constitution prohibits public schools from taking bullying and harassment any less seriously just because the targets are LGBTQ.

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