Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Monday, May 5, 2014

Prom Time.....

It's April, which means, it's near Prom Time for many high school students.  Which brings us to this Slate article (by "last April," the article means to refer to April 2013):  

Last April, Issak Wolfe, a transgender high school student at Red Lion Area High School in Pennsylvania, was denied the opportunity to run for prom king by his school’s principal. His fellow classmates and most of his teachers supported and respected his male gender identity, and he had received repeated assurances that his name would appear on the prom king side of the ballot. But when the ballot was released, Issak was dismayed and embarrassed to discover that he was listed as a candidate for prom queen and was referred to by the female name he was assigned at birth instead of his male name. Issak later learned from administrators that the decision was made by his principal, because he “didn’t feel comfortable” with Issak running for prom king.


Fortunately for students like Isaak, the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education took an incredibly important step forward earlier this week when it declared that discrimination against transgender students is prohibited under existing bans on sex discrimination, specifically Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. While this is tremendous news, OCR must now follow up with comprehensive guidance on Title IX and transgender students to schools nationwide.

And the story of the aforementioned Issak.  And it looks like Issak had a beautiful graduation ceremony last year.  

 Red Lion Area High School graduate Issak Wolfe receives a hug from Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition deputy PR director Victoria Martin after Martin

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