School Pulls Lesbian's Photo From Yearbook

Because she was (gasp!) wearing a tuxedo

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 28, 2010 8:22 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Mississippi high school student's photo has been scrubbed from her senior yearbook. Ceara Sturgis' crime? The lesbian teen sported a tuxedo in her picture. “They didn't even put her name in it,” Sturgis' mother, Veronica Rodriguez, tells the Jackson Free Press. “They've got kids in the book that have been busted for drugs.” Rodriguez is angry, but perhaps not entirely surprised: She enlisted the ACLU in October after learning that the school decided to ban the photo from the book because Sturgis wasn't wearing a dress.

The organization wrote a letter demanding it be included; Rodriguez had at least expected them to list her daughter on the senior page and acknowledge her academic achievements. “It's like she's nobody there.” The school says it has consulted its lawyers, and that its “position is not arbitrary, capricious, or unlawful, but is based upon sound educational policy and legal precedent.” The ACLU hasn't said if it plans to take legal action.

Ceara Sturgis, 17, left, speaks to reporters with her mother Veronica Rodriguez Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009 at the offices of the ACLU in Jackson, Miss.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
In this undated frame grab provided by WLBT TV, Ceara Sturgis is shown in a proof of her desired yearbook photo.   (AP Photo/WLBT TV)
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