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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Girl left out of high school yearbook for wearing tux

Posted by on May. 18, 2014 at 12:33 AM
  • 57 Replies

Girl left out of high school yearbook for wearing tux

tiecontroversy12.jpg

May 17, 2014: Students at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory wore ties over their polo shirts and sweatshirts on campus to protest the administration's decision to omit senior Jessica Urbina's photo.KTVU.COM

Students at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory in San Francisco wore ties to campus on Friday to protest the administration's decision to omit a portrait of a female student wearing a tuxedo in the school yearbook.

Jessica Urbina, a senior at the Catholic high school, had her portrait taken last fall and elected to wear the tuxedo jacket and black bow-tie made available to boys instead of the black off-the-shoulder drape offered to girls. 

Principal Gary Cannon told reporters that the controversy was a good learning opportunity for students but stressed that Sacred Heart is run in accordance with Roman Catholic Church teachings. 

"Straight, gay, bi, transgender, they are all welcome in Sacred Heart Cathedral and at the same time we're going to be clear in terms of being a Catholic institution and what the Catholic Church teaches on how do we live out that faith in a meaningful way," Cannon said.

School officials said Jessica violated Archdiocese of San Francisco policy because she didn't comply with the dress code required for female students in yearbook photos, KTVU.com reported.

Tommy Clifford, a student at Sacred Heart, told the station he was proud to show support for Jessica by wearing a tie to class.

“She’s a very good friend of mine,” Clifford said. “I wanted to show her my support.”

Ilona Turner, legal director of the Transgender Law Center in Oakland, said that if Sacred Heart receives state funds it could be violating a new law that prohibits schools from denying students access to sex-segregated activities and programs on the basis of their gender identity or a gender nonconforming appearance.

"This appears to be a clear case of discrimination based on gender expression and discrimination based on sex," Turner told The Associated Press. "They are saying that boys can wear a tuxedo in their photos and girls cannot."

The exclusion of Jessica's portrait also could violate Title IX, the federal law that bans gender discrimination at schools, she said.

"It's hard to imagine what policy reason they would have for forcing a student to wear clothing they are uncomfortable with," Turner said. "It seems very, very far removed from any possible arguments around religious tenets related to sexuality."

Cannon was scheduled to meet with Jessica and her older brother on Friday afternoon to discuss what she will wear at graduation, according to KTVU.com.

In a statement released to the station, the school said it would work to change the policy in the future.

"As we prepare to pass out yearbooks, it is always regretful when a student portrait is omitted for any reason. As a community we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that all students are included in the future," the statement read.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click here for more from KTVU.com.

by on May. 18, 2014 at 12:33 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Arroree
by Ruby Member on May. 18, 2014 at 1:30 AM
5 moms liked this

Why would it be against the Catholic church for a girl to wear a suit and tie? It's not like she's asking to wear a bikini, she's fully clothed and in the correct colors.

I just don't see the big deal. Not every girl likes wear or is comfortable wearing a dress, that has nothing to do with sexuality.

lga1965
by on May. 18, 2014 at 1:35 AM
1 mom liked this
It's nice that so many are supporting her and yet as a,student she should realize that the school has rules and standards . If she objects to rules now, she's going to have s tough life ahead of her . When you're an.adult there are rules and you can't pout and object . It's called cooperation and maturity.
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Arroree
by Ruby Member on May. 18, 2014 at 1:39 AM
6 moms liked this


Quoting lga1965: It's nice that so many are supporting her and yet as a,student she should realize that the school has rules and standards . If she objects to rules now, she's going to have s tough life ahead of her . When you're an.adult there are rules and you can't pout and object . It's called cooperation and maturity.

Maybe so but as an adult there are also mature options like protests, marches, campaigns to make change, that sort of thing. If everyone just simply followed the rules no matter how against them they were, then we'd still have slavery, women would still have no rights and we'd still be burning people at the stake.  

All change starts somewhere. As the saying goes "It's not enough to hope for change, you have to BE the change you want and make it happen" *or words to that effect LOL* 

jobseeker
by Bronze Member on May. 18, 2014 at 2:21 AM
3 moms liked this

 GOOD GRIEF!

How is it a surprise that a religious school would have guidelines in regard to students dressing in appropriate garb for their legal gender?

eye rolling

autodidact
by Platinum Member on May. 18, 2014 at 2:30 AM
2 moms liked this

it's a stupid and arbitrary rule

Quoting lga1965: It's nice that so many are supporting her and yet as a,student she should realize that the school has rules and standards . If she objects to rules now, she's going to have s tough life ahead of her . When you're an.adult there are rules and you can't pout and object . It's called cooperation and maturity.


autodidact
by Platinum Member on May. 18, 2014 at 2:36 AM
4 moms liked this

oh for fuck's sake 

Quoting jobseeker:

 GOOD GRIEF!

How is it a surprise that a religious school would have guidelines in regard to students dressing in appropriate garb for their legal gender?

eye rolling


meriana
by Platinum Member on May. 18, 2014 at 3:27 AM
3 moms liked this

They have a dress code, which includes a dress code for yearbook pictures. She didn't follow it. Makes me wonder what she's going to do about dress codes when she obtains a job as most businesses do have them. I seriously doubt it would have harmed her in any way to wear the drape for the few minutes it takes to have a photo done.

D-Town
by Silver Member on May. 18, 2014 at 7:57 AM
1 mom liked this

If this were a public, government funded school I would support her 100%. Unfortunately, this is a private religious school and can make whatever rules they want. The girl should have worn the drape. If she wanted to dress in a manner that was not part of the uniform, she should attend a school without that dress code. 

stringtheory
by Gold Member on May. 18, 2014 at 8:13 AM
1 mom liked this
For crying out loud, "she knew the rules, she should just shut up and follow them!" She did nothing shocking or outrageous. It's absolutely ridiculous that something so benign should get her left out of the yearbook students pay for. Good for the students for staging an equally tame protest and supporting their peer in such a mature and calm manner. Quit trying to prove your consistency, ladies, and admit its a stupid rule and shouldn't be a big deal to break and advocate to change.
Donna6503
by Platinum Member on May. 18, 2014 at 8:25 AM
2 moms liked this
Their school, their rules, if you don't like it then don't go to that school
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