What are my rights in school?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) does not allow discrimination based on sex in schools. Under Title IX, “sex” includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Therefore, your school cannot discriminate against you because you are transgender or gender non-conforming.
This means that:
- You have the right to not be disciplined or treated differently than other students because you are transgender or gender non-conforming
- You have the right not to be harassed or bullied because you are transgender or gender non-conforming. Your school has a duty to not only treat you with respect, but to make sure that your teachers and classmates are doing the same
- You have the right to freely express your gender identity and to transition (socially, legally, and physically) at school
- You have the right to be called by your preferred names and pronouns by your teachers and classmates, although your parents will need to provide consent for this
- You have the right to dress according to your gender identity at school, as long as you follow the appropriate dress code. However, the dress code must be equally applied to all students. Your school cannot enforce a stricter dress code policy against you than other students because you are transgender or gender non-conforming
- You have the right not to share or be forced to share personal and medical information to your teachers or other school officials. Your teachers and school officials cannot share your personal or medical information without your consent, except to your parents or legal guardian in certain situations. Personal or medical information includes your assigned sex at birth, medical history, gender identity, or gender transition.
What can I do if I think my rights have been violated?
If you think your rights have been violated in school, you may be able to file a formal complaint. You can file a complaint with the office of civil rights or with your school. Click here to see how to fill out an office of civil rights complaint HERE and talk to a trusted adult to look into filing a Title IX complaint with your school. Depending on the school and the district, there may be different procedures on how to do this.
Will my teachers tell my caregiver/parent if I tell them about my sexual orientation, or gender identity?
Florida laws say that teachers cannot talk or teach about sexual orientation or gender identity in the classroom. The law also says your parent or guardian must be told of any healthcare or support services you get in school and be allowed to consent (agree) or decline (not agree) to services for you. In other words, your teachers or school counselors must tell your parents or caregiver information about your sexual orientation and gender identity.