The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Pennsylvania sent a letter on April 26, 2013, on behalf of a male transgender student who was denied the chance to run for prom king when his principal placed his female birth name in the column for “prom queen” despite repeated requests to be listed under his correct gender identity.

Principal Mark Shue of Red Lion Area Senior High School also threatened to bar Issak Wolfe from attending prom with his girlfriend, who is an alumnus of the school, after she posted statements and a petition online supporting Wolfe. The school later agreed to allow Wolfe's girlfriend to attend the prom.

In its May 3, 2013 letter, the Red Lion Area School District refused to change its policy around transgender candidates for prom court and would not agree to allow transgender students to use a name at graduation to match their gender identity. The school district also refused to adopt a nondiscrimination policy to protect transgender students.

The school district's solicitor did agree to allow Issak to wear a black cap and gown at graduation, as opposed to the yellow cap and gown mandated for girls.

Issak read a statement about his experience to the Red Lion Area School District board at their meeting on Thursday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m.

Press Releases


Molly Tack-Hooper (ACLU-PA); Joshua Block & Leslie Cooper (ACLU)

Date filed

April 26, 2013