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Over the last 15 years, lawmakers and school administrators have increasingly recognized that LGBT youth are a vulnerable population in school settings, and many have implemented policies designed to ensure all students feel safe and welcome at school. In many states and school districts, LGBT students and teachers lack protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
In others, protections that do exist are inadequate or unenforced.
Such restrictions make it difficult or impossible for LGBT youth to get information about health and well-being on the same terms as heterosexual peers.
The effects of these laws are not only limited to health or sexuality education classes.
In 2001, Human Rights Watch published Hatred in the Hallways: Violence and Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students in US Schools.