Prom Resources for LGBT Students
Every year, the ACLU receives calls from students whose schools have told them that they cannot bring a same-sex date to the Prom or that they must wear Prom clothing that conforms to traditional gender norms. Policies such as these, which exclude LGBT students from participating fully in school life, are not only prejudicial, they are unconstitutional.
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In Fricke v. Lynch, a federal court ruled that any policy excluding same-sex couples from proms or school dances violates the right to free expression guaranteed by the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Other decisions have found that enforcing outdated notions that only boys can wear tuxedoes and only girls can wear dresses to Prom is illegal. Other federal courts have ruled in the same way, most recently in the case of McMillen v. Itawamba County School District.
The ACLU's LGBT Project has developed a letter to principals and superintendents that students can use if their school tries to stop them from bringing a same-sex date to the Prom. We have also developed two letters for girls being prevented from wearing tuxes and boys being prevented from wearing dresses.
If your situation is not addressed by these letters, or you give these letters to officials at your school and they still insist on anti-LGBT policies, please fill out our intake form or contact us at (212) 549-2673 or email@example.com.