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Resources for LGBTQI+ Students

The mission of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence through vigorous enforcement of civil rights in our nation's schools. To serve this mission, OCR enforces civil rights laws to protect all students from unlawful discrimination and harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age. This includes students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, intersex, nonbinary, or identify their sexual orientation or gender identity in other ways (LGBTQI+).

Bullying, harassment, exclusion from school activities, and other forms of discrimination can interfere with LGBTQI+ students’ access to a safe and inclusive school environment. Federal law, however, requires schools to ensure that LGBTQI+ students and other students have equal access to all aspects of a school’s programs and activities.

Filing a Complaint with OCR

Students who believe they have faced discrimination at school based on sexual orientation or gender identity or because they do not conform with sex stereotypes or for another reason may file a complaint with OCR. OCR carefully reviews allegations from anyone who files a complaint, including students who identify as male, female or nonbinary; transgender or cisgender; intersex; lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, heterosexual, or in other ways. When a complaint meets the requirements and standards set out in OCR’s Case Processing Manual, OCR will investigate and appropriately resolve the complaint.

Resources from the Department of Education

Below are Department of Education resources that may be of interest to LGBTQI+ students and allies. Additional resources will be added as they are issued.

Last Modified: 08/22/2023