The Right to Create or Run a GSA
The federal Equal Access Act (20 USC 4071 et seq.) mandates that under certain circumstances, students who wish to create or run a GSAs (“Gay-Straight Alliances” or “Gender and Sexuality Alliances”) have the legal right to do so.
The Act Applies to:
public secondary schools (middle and high schools)
which receive federal funds
which have created a “limited public forum,” meaning that at least one student-initiated, non-curricular group is permitted to form and meet in non-instructional time.
What Schools May Not Forbid
Where these conditions are met, a school may not forbid the creation of a student group, or interfere with its otherwise permissible activities, because it does not agree with the group’s purposes. The Equal Access Act has been a powerful tool used frequently to protect students’ abilities to create and operate GSAs, including in Minnesota. A good resource for more information is available through the ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/other/gsa-court-victories-guide-lgbt-high-school-students