6 Outrageous Instances of Discrimination at Prom

It’s prom season, and America’s youth should be out having the time of their lives in fancy dress as they bid farewell to their high school years. But unfortunately, prom isn’t fun and games for everyone.

Every year, students are†kicked out of proms, kept out of the running for prom royalty, told to go home because of “revealing” clothes or†otherwise excluded because of their gender and sexual orientation.

These teens†shouldn’t have to be isolated at an “alternative prom” if they want to party with the rest of their graduating class.

We rounded up some of the worst incidents this year, and hopefully schools across America will take note: We’re watching you.

1) Aniya Wolf excluded from prom for wearing a suit

Bishop McDevitt, a Catholic school, informed this young woman that she wouldn’t be allowed into prom wearing a suit. Wolf has preferred masculine clothes all her life, but when she showed up in a brand-new suit, school officials took her aside — and even threatened to call the police. The lesbian student was forced to slink home in shame simply for expressing herself.

A group of Black girls dressed for prom.

Photo credit: Thirty30 Photography

2) Lesbian couple informed that they can’t run as prom queens together

Foothill High School claimed that allowing two girls to run on the slate as a couple was “unfair” to boys, despite the fact that the school had nominated them together. Students clearly felt the teens should be considered for the roles of Prom Queen and Queen.

But the student body fought back. In this case, there’s at†least a somewhat†happy ending: The school has changed “Prom King and Queen” to “Prom Royalty.” The new gender neutral title will allow†the couple to run together.

Two girls laughing and smiling at a prom photoshoot.

Photo credit: Joe Strupek

3) Transgender teen ordered to run as prom queen

Ash Whitaker, 16, was pretty excited to land a slot on the prom court ó until he was ordered to run for prom queen, not king, on the grounds that he’s†transgender. To make matters worse, the school also refuses to allow him to use the appropriate†bathroom.

Whitaker noted that discrimination like this makes it harder for trans teens to come out, as they fear cruel responses from adults and their peers. Fortunately for Ash, his classmates and adult allies stood by him, and the school eventually caved.

People showing off their corsages at prom.

Photo credit: Kevin Kenny

4) Kicked out for a dress that’s “too revealing”

In news that may come as a shock, many†women have breasts ó and some have particularly ample bosoms. It can be a challenge to find comfortable, fun and beautiful garments when you’re busty, especially if you’re over a size eight.

Amy Steverson was excited to find a gorgeous dress that fit like a charm…until she was ordered to cover up because her dress wasn’t modest enough. As if Steverson†wasn’t shamed enough for having breasts, some people also made harsh comments about her body, suggesting that “big girls” should “cover up.”

Two girls smiling as they get ready to enter their prom.

Photo credit: Ruth E. Photos

5) Bullied for daring to be plus-sized at prom

This one wasn’t the fault of the†school district, but it is a sad testimony to the same gendered standards that hit Amy Steverson.

Tayja Jones had a blast at prom and looked smashing in her dress, so like teens all over the country, she posted photos and videos on social media. But†then Jones†was deluged with†comments so hateful that even Fox News won’t print them.

Jones†went from being thrilled about her experience to wishing she’d never gone to prom. Here’s hoping her district takes a tough line on tracking down any of the classmates involved and disciplining them appropriately.

A girl pinning flowers onto her partner's suit.

Photo credit: Kevin Kenny

6) Ejected for a “dress code violation”

Malika Sneed bought an expensive frock, did her hair and makeup and was excited†to spend the night with friends at the prom, until she was informed that her dress was too revealing.†She†was†sent home.

Sense a theme?

While the school claims that Sneed†should have been aware of the dress code, which all students were asked to sign, interpretations of dress codes can be highly subjective — and they tend to penalize young women more often than men.

The news isn’t all†grim, though.

This trans teen came in second in the race for prom queen, in an empowering and affirming vote of inclusion from her school community, and another trans teen in Florida†hit the dance floor†without negative comment. Hopefully these cases†illustrate that the times are, slowly, changing.

 

Photo Credit: Wheeler Cowperthwaite

85 comments

John J
John J5 months ago

thank you

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John J
John J5 months ago

thank you

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Jerome S
Jerome S5 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S5 months ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven5 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven5 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Robin Pasholk
Robin Pasholk2 years ago

Prom is for the attendees to have a good time, not for the schools to advertise their various hang-ups.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Crystal G.
Crystal G2 years ago

Ok. Your pictures don't match up with the stories. Confusing.

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BOYCOTTCHINA M.
ROBERTO M2 years ago

THANKS

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