Weeks After Denial, Local Teen Finally Allowed to Wear Her Dress to Prom

Categories: Education

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Tony can finally wear what she wants.
Weeks after Tony Zamazal first asked Spring High School's administration whether or not she could wear a dress to her upcoming prom, the senior finally has an answer. After receiving a letter from the ACLU dated March 18, Spring ISD has finally announced it will allow Tony, who had long dressed in traditionally male attire until last fall, to wear the dresses and heels she wants.

When Zamazal first approached the school about her prom outfit, Assistant Principal Shawne Smith promptly denied her request. With a little bit of a legal nudge, though, she will now have an opportunity to join classmates at the May gala. In a letter dated March 26, J. Erik Nichols, representing Spring ISD, noted that "Spring ISD does not dispute that she should be allowed to wear her choice of feminine attire to the dance; however, she will be held to the same prom dress code enforced for all students, and specifically female students if this is her desired dress choice."

Still, there was one quick catch. Nichols's letter, which ran two pages, didn't simply detail the potential outfits available; rather, it also seemingly denied that the school and district had -- despite both Smith's denial and Principal Donna Ullrich's subsequent decision to "consult with [Spring ISD's] Board" -- done anything wrong:

"Contrary to what has been reported to the media...Tony Zamazal has not been denied the right to wear feminine attire to Spring High School's senior prom."

Thus, it seems that either the ACLU and Zamazal are putting words into Smith's mouth, or the entire situation, which took nearly a month to sort out, has been a big silly miscommunication.

But that's now in the past, fortunately. Zamazal said in a statement that she's simply happy to be showing up in the outfit she'd been looking forward to wearing for months.

"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," Zamazal wrote in a statement. "I'm so grateful that my school has agreed to let me be myself on such an important night."


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