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Ask Michelle – Your “Family Therapist”

by MICHELLE CAVALERI, LCSW-R,
Wedding Officiant in all 50 US States and Certified NYS Divorce Mediator

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS – LGBTQ RIGHTS IN SCHOOLS –
As summer comes to an end and children are heading back to school, the New York State Civil Liberty Union (NYSCLU) is working hard to inform parents and kids of their rights in school as they pertain to gender issues. The following is a reprint of student’s in New York –
AT SCHOOL, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO…..
1. Be safe and free from harassment and bullying.
2. Be treated equally and not be discriminated against because of your
sexual orientation or gender identity.
3. Be “out” about your sexual orientation and gender identity.
4. Dress and act in a way that does not conform to stereotypes associated
with your gender.
5. Wear clothes that fit the gender you identify with.
6. Start a gay-straight alliance.
7. Wear LGBTQ-positive or political t-shirts, stickers, or bracelets.
8. Speak out about LGBTQ issues.
9. Access pro-LGBTQ websites or information about LGBTQ issues on your
school’s computers.
10. Bring your same-sex girlfriend or boyfriend to prom.
11. Use a gender neutral restroom, or a restroom that corresponds with your
gender identity, if you are transgender.
YOUR SCHOOL HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY TO …..
1. Not discriminate against you.
2. Protect you from harassment because of your sexual orientation, gender
identity, or gender expression.
3. Create an environment free from sex and gender stereotypes in which you
are allowed to be yourself.
4. Respect your privacy. The NYSCLU believes, and some courts have
agreed, that your school cannot reveal your sexual orientation or
transgender identity to other people (like your parents) without your
permission, even if you are out at school.
5. Respect your gender identity by calling you by your preferred name and
gender pronoun (“he” or “she”) and treat you equally with peers of your
asserted gender.
REPORT BEING HARASSED OR DISCRIMINATED AGAINST IMMEDIATEY…
1. Don’t be silent! Report the problem immediately.
2. Write down a who/what/where/when/why description of every
incident.
3. Write down the dates you reported every incident, who you reported
them to, and what action that person said he or she would take.
4. If your school is not fixing the problem, contact the NYSCLU at –
www.nysclu.org/LGBTQyouthrights

South Shore Counseling & Mediation Center is a full service mental health agency, offering family counseling, therapeutic counseling for individuals (adults, adolescents & teens), couples, a variety of behavioral and psycho-educational programs, and child custody and divorce mediation. To speak with one of our therapists or mediators, please call 631-286-8282, or e-mail us at contact@sscounseling.net, or visit our website, www.southshorecounselingcenter.net.

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