Spring can be an exciting time for students - prom, senior trips, and graduation are in the air. But being prevented from taking part in prom or graduation, or from wearing what you want, can sour the semester. These guidelines can help keep your high school memories happy ones, not reminders of prejudice.

The First Amendment, constitutional guarantees of equality, and New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination protect public school students' rights to choose a prom date and wear what they want.

You can find more prom-specific information at http://www.aclu.org/lgbtprom, and information about New Jersey students' rights in the "ACLU-NJ's Rights of Public School Students," which can be found at /yourrights/publications/

Students at secular private schools may find some legal protections for what they wear and who they bring to the prom under the Law Against Discrimination. If you experience discrimination at a private school's prom, consult the ACLU-NJ, New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, or a private attorney.

If you run into any problems over these rights or are disciplined for how you express yourself, contact the ACLU-NJ at 973-642-2084 or /yourrights/fileacomplaint/

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