The classic Alice Cooper song “School’s Out” always resurfaces this time of year to signal the end of another school year and the start of summer. For many schoolchildren this means the beginning of a few months of rest and relaxation. But if you’re a student who is (or perceived to be) gay or transgender, the next few months also provide a respite from bullying and harassment.
Bullying and harassment are major problems for gay and transgender youth. As a result, gay and transgender students are suffering academically and socially. These youth deserve better. They deserve to be part of a safe and inclusive school environment where they are free to be themselves. Gay-straight alliances, or GSAs—youth-led clubs that work to make schools safer by specifically addressing antigay and antitransgender behavior—are one way to help create a climate that is inclusive of gay and transgender youth.
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