Department of Justice

It Gets Better

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Across the country, many students are suffering from harassment by their peers because they are—or are perceived to be—lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), or simply because they don’t conform to people’s stereotypes about how a boy or girl is supposed to act or look.

All of us at the Justice Department, whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or straight, are committed to working to end bullying, harassment, and discrimination in schools against all students, including LGBT students. We enforce federal laws that protect all students from discrimination and harassment at school because of their race, sex, national origin, disability, or religion.

If you are a young person who has been bullied or harassed by your peers, or you are a parent or teacher who knows a young person being bullied or harassed, there are resources that can help you. If you are afraid for your immediate safety because of a harasser or if you’re thinking about hurting yourself or someone else—call 9-1-1. If you need someone to talk to or are looking for more information about preventing and responding to bullying, the following resources are available:

THE TREVOR PROJECT

The Trevor Project is determined to end suicide among LGBT and questioning youth by providing resources and a nationwide 24 hour hotline. If you are considering suicide or need help, call: 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386). The Trevor Project can be found online at www.thetrevorproject.org.

BULLYINGINFO.ORG

www.BullyingInfo.org is a project of the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP) focused on providing tools and resources for youth, parents, teachers and mental health providers to prevent and address bullying.

For even more information and resources visit:

Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/home/index.html

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
http://community.pflag.org/

Note: The links above direct you to the websites of other organizations. The work and views of outside organizations may not be attributed to the Department of Justice.

CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION, EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES SECTION

The Educational Opportunities Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (EOS) works to ensure that all students are provided equal educational opportunities. Through its enforcement of federal civil rights laws, EOS protects students from harassment based on race, national origin, sex, disability, and religion. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sex-based discrimination and harassment, including discrimination or harassment based on non-conformity with gender stereotypes. If you or a student you know is being harassed or discriminated against, please contact us. To file a complaint, you can visit our website: http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/edu/ or call us at (877) 292-3804.

Please know, It Does Get Better.

Article contributed by the United States Department of Justice January 2011