Target: Spring Independent School District
Goal: Allow high school student Tony Zamazal to attend his senior prom in a dress.
In recent months, student Tony Zamazal has been wearing women’s clothes as often as possible. Once Zamazal accepted the idea that he could be himself as he feels most comfortable, he says that, “It just became part of me.”
Hoping to make a formal debut at his senior prom despite what others may think, Zamazal contacted his assistant principal. He asked him if there was any way that he could arrive at prom dressed in women’s clothing. Zamazal said, “He told me it just wasn’t in the dress code. [He said] women wore dresses, and men wore tuxedos.” It was “crushing” for Zamazal to hear that he could not dress how he felt comfortable at his senior prom.
While discrimination and bullying can happen to anyone, teens who are forming ideas of self, identity, and gender are particularly susceptible. Being dependent upon parents and not having the legal autonomy of adults, queer youth often cannot begin fully exploring their identity. School is an open learning forum for adolescents to encounter new things and to learn about themselves. School should never be a place of oppression.
Freedom to dress within the boundaries of dress code as it applies to either gender is a basic way to provide youth a means of exploring their identity without shame or suppression. Sign the petition below to show your support of Tony Zamazal. Tell the Spring Independent School District that Zamazal should be allowed to wear a dress to his senior prom.
Dear Spring Independent School District,
I was appalled to hear about the assistant principal’s response to Tony Zamazal’s request to wear a dress to senior prom. Zamazal has said that this makes him feel comfortable, allows him to express who he is, and has become a part of him.
While discrimination and bullying are issues that can arise for anyone, youth who are forming ideas of self, identity, and gender are particularly susceptible. Being dependent upon parents and not having the legal autonomy of adults, queer youth often cannot begin fully exploring who they might be. School is an open learning forum for adolescents to interact with their peers; it is a place to encounter new things and to learn about yourself and society. School should never be a place of oppression.
Freedom to dress how you want, within the boundaries of dress code as it applies to either gender, is a basic way to provide questioning youth a means of exploring their identity. You should be encouraging this growth and development, both for Zamazal’s sake and for the entire student body’s sake. Teach tolerance and respect. Teach integrity and standing up for who you are.
I urge you to allow Zamazal and any other students to dress how they want to prom. Please, make Zamazal’s senior prom night a meaningful experience, not a crushing loss.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: frank servayge via Flickr