Advocate for LGBTQ+ youth in K-12 schools

Student Nondiscrimination Policies

*Last Updated May 2021

In June 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) affirmed that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in K-12 schools is prohibited under Title IX. USED’s express affirmation advances implementation of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County. Seventeen states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have passed laws prohibiting discrimination against students in K-12 schools on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Wisconsin passed legislation that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. New Mexico and Utah promulgated regulations that explicitly establish protections based on sexual orientation. Puerto Rico prohibits discrimination against students on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity, the Northern Mariana Islands only explicitly provides protections on the basis of sexual orientation, and the Virgin Islands only explicitly provides protection on the basis of gender identity. Statutes that specifically address the treatment of transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming students are in place in 5 states and 3 state agencies have issued regulations. Comprehensive state guidance on transgender, nonbinary, and gendernonconforming students has been issued in 18 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. This list excludes states such as Pennsylvania and Kentucky that have good guidance on school records and New Mexico and Louisiana that issued guidance on GSAs (Gender and Sexuality Alliances or Gay Straight Alliances), but do not address other critical aspects of K-12 learning communities.

If your home state or territory has issued updated Title IX or school nondiscrimination guidance in response to federal action, we encourage you to send new or revised guidance to