WOODBURY - According to a report released Wednesday by the New York Civil Liberties Union, instances of anti-transgender discrimination were cited in schools across the state.
The report states that transgender students as young as 5 years old face harassment, threats and even violence when they're at school. The NYCLU is now calling for the state Education Department to step in.
Avery Brodgan, a Long Beach High School senior, identifies as male but was born female. He says his school did not give him the proper support over the years.
"They say there are some accommodations for trans students, but they don't actually tell you unless you ask for it, and some people might be afraid to ask for it," Brodgan says.
A spokesperson from Long Beach High School released a statement that said, "We embrace our diverse school community and strive to grow as an organization to meet the needs of all our students. We actively listen to the concerns of our students and we are constantly reviewing our policies, programs and protocols in an effort to maintain a school environment that promotes tolerance, understanding and respect for all."
Long Island Crisis Center Director Pete Carney says the lack of policy leaves transgender youth feeling unsafe and bullied. He says that while good intentions have led to some progress, there is much work to be done.
The state's Education Department says it will issue a transgender and gender nonconforming students guidance document in time for the 2015-16 school year. It will complement the Dignity Act released in 2013.