Do students have the right to form Gay Straight Alliances in their schools?
Yes, as to high school students; probably, as to middle school students. According to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Massachusetts Student Anti-Discrimination Law (Chap. 76, Sec. 5) requires school administrators to respond consistently to all requests related to extra-curricular clubs, even if they don’t agree personally with the club’s content.
In addition, a federal law known as the “Equal Access Act” requires that all federally funded secondary schools provide equal access to extra-curricular clubs. So long as a school has at least one student-led extra-curricular club, it must allow additional clubs to organize, and must provide them with equal access to meeting spaces, facilities, and funding without discriminating based on a club’s purpose, be that purpose religious, philosophical, political, or otherwise (20 U.S.C. § 4071).
If your school is preventing you from forming a GSA, contact GLAD Answers.