SPRING, Texas – Spring High School has had a change of heart and will now allow a transgender student to wear a dress to the upcoming senior prom, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Tony Zamazal made headlines in February when he said the school would not allow him to wear women’s clothing to the prom. He said he feels comfortable dressing as a woman and was ready to make his big debut at the big event, but the school put the brakes on that idea.
A school administrator told Zamazal that wearing a dress would be “unacceptable” because boys have to wear tuxedos and girls must wear dresses.
He decided to take a stand and go public and the ACLU stepped in to help.
The organization sent a letter to the principal on March 18, explaining that both federal law and the U.S. Constitution protect Zamazal’s right to wear a dress to prom.
The school district responded last week and affirmed that it will allow Zamazal to attend the prom in the formal clothing of her choice.
“Tony has the right under both federal statutes and the U.S. Constitution to express her gender identity,” said Adriana Pinon, ACLU of Texas Senior Staff Attorney. “Students’ legal rights aren’t something that public schools get to put up to a vote. We’re happy to see the school do the right thing.”
The 19-year-old was elated.
“All I wanted was to get to wear a dress to prom, because I wouldn’t have felt comfortable at all showing up in a tux,” said Zamazal. “I’m so grateful that my school has agreed to let me be myself on such an important night.”
Amanda Goad, Staff Attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project said, “Like every other student, Tony deserves to feel comfortable and be herself at prom. We’re glad that Spring ISD for has affirmed Tony’s First Amendment rights.”