New York Court Rules Human Rights Law Applies to Public Schools: Lambda Legal Applauds
(New York, June 30, 2011) - Today, the Appellate Division, Third Department, of the New York State Supreme Court, issued a ruling that the New York Human Rights Law (NYHRL) does protect public school students against discrimination and harassment. Lambda Legal issued the following statement from Thomas W. Ude, Jr., Senior Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal:
"We applaud the Third Department's ruling that the New York State Human Rights Law protects all public school students against discrimination and harassment.
"Students have a right to a safe learning environment free from discrimination and harassment. The protections provided by the Human Rights Law apply to - and are needed by - all of New York's students.
"Because the Human Rights Law is far more specific and explicitly inclusive than other antidiscrimination laws, it provides crucial protections and remedies to all students, including LGBT youth.
"Today's court decision is a critical development in the protection of all New York students. But until school districts throughout the state accept their responsibility under the Human Rights Law and take steps to prevent or remedy harassment of LGBT students in their schools, Lambda Legal will continue to advocate on their behalf."
Lambda Legal, joined by a broad array of other civil rights organizations, filed an amicus brief in this case.
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Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.