Saturday, March 28, 2009

Indiana district agrees to allow female student to wear tux to prom

Lebanon Schools has reversed its policy requiring female students to wear dresses if they attend the prom after a senior girl who is a lesbian sued last week, according to the Indianapolis Star.

In a statement, Superintendent Robert L. Taylor said that the issue had been resolved. School policy for this year's prom will be that all attendees shall wear appropriate formal attire with no gender-based attire requirements imposed," the statement said.

"Female students will be permitted to wear tuxedos if they choose." Ken Falk, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and the student's attorney, said his client is pleased with the decision and will attend the April prom in a tuxedo.

"We think this is what the decision should have been all along, that there was never any justification for the policy," Falk said. "It's unfortunate that we had to go this far."

Falk had asked a federal court to force the school to let the girl, who remained anonymous in court filings, attend the prom in a tuxedo. The lawsuit said the school violated her right to express herself and discriminated against her because of her gender.

The district had long had the policy and had never reviewed it because it hadn't been challenged, the district's lawyer, Kent Frandsen, said last week.

Source: Indianapolis Star, 3/17/09, By Andy Gammill

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