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Transgender student allowed to wear dress to prom

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Dress shopping for prom can be one of those memories you hold onto from high school. But for one transgendered teen, it was a fight to make a dream to dance in that perfect dress come true.

Tony Zamazal admits this might have been a misunderstanding between her and administrators at Spring High School. But she's happy there's no question now that she can wear what makes her comfortable

Zamazal is shopping now for prom, looking for a dress for the big night.

"It's just so amazing that I can actually do this, and I can actually go as I am comfortably," she said.

Zamazal is transgender and says she asked the school last month for permission to wear a dress to prom, along with a wig, makeup and pump style shoes. Zamazal says the Spring HS assistant principal initially told her that would be unacceptable, because boys were tuxedos and girls wear dresses.

"I had gotten kind mad, ranted on Facebook, and it kind of blew up from there," Zamazal said.

Zamazal tells us she appealed to the principal, who allegedly said she would have to consult with the school board because it would be a community decision. Zamazal, at that point, went public with her dismay and the ACLU offered to help, writing a letter on her behalf to the school district, explaining that the school's position was unconstitutional.

Adriana Pinon with the ACLU said, "Tony's right to express her gender identity is protected by federal statute and the federal constitution."

In a letter provided to us by the ACLU, an attorney for Spring ISD states that Tony has "...not been denied the right to wear feminine attire..." to the prom, contrary to what she has claimed.

The school district states that she must still adhere to its dress code, and that "Tony will be held to the same standard that female students are held to ... regarding these articles of clothing."

Zamazal is happy to comply with that.

"To me it actually means I'm actually going to be able to go to prom as who I really am," she said.

That prom is set for May 11. Until then, it's time for her to shop.

Spring ISD Prom/Special Occasion Dress Code

The following grooming and attire guidelines apply to senior prom and special occasions:

  • Standard formal wear is expected, which includes dark business suits, dresses, and appropriate footwear. Baseball caps, straw cowboy hats, or other non-formal wear will not be allowed.
  • Spaghetti straps and strapless dresses are allowed.
  • Front and back of dresses must not be too low-cut or revealing. Back of dress should not go below natural waist.
  • Two piece dresses are not allowed.
  • Camisole backs that lace up are permitted.
  • Short dresses must follow dress code guidelines, which require dresses mid-thigh or longer in length. This also applies to slits in long dresses.
  • Proper undergarments must be worn.
  • Proper and formal grooming is expected. No unusual hairstyles or hair color will be allowed.
  • Dress code guidelines apply to accessories and jewelry. No nose, facial, or tongue jewelry is allowed. No grills are allowed.
Any student not dressed appropriately will not be allowed to enter prom or the special event.

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