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Students' Rights: LGBTQ+ Students & Dress Codes at School Dances

Find Your State

Know the laws in your state that protect LGBT people and people living with HIV.

In the U.S., LGBTQ+ students have a right to attend and enjoy school dances just like anyone else. You also have the right to freely express who you are, including in what you choose to wear. In a public school setting, clothing restrictions must apply evenly across all gender expressions.

According to the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Title IX of the Educational Amendmentsof 1972, your public school has a legal obligation to respect the sexual orientation of all its students and not to discriminate against students on the basis of their sex - this includes at school dances.

In other words, your school administrators cannot discipline you for wearing certain clothing unless it violates a gender-neutral dress code. For example, not allowing a female student to wear a tuxedo or a male student to wear address may put the school at risk of breaking the law. Rules must be applied equally - they can’t create exceptions based on the specific items of clothing for individuals.

Date:
May 12, 2022