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School Tells Girl She Can't Wear Tux in Yearbook Photo

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WLBT: A picture is causing quite the controversy down at Wesson Attendance Center in Wesson, Mississippi. A female student chose to wear a garment that most males wear. And now, she's fighting to get that photo in her senior yearbook.

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"I tried on the drape and it looked ridiculous. It was terrible" said Sturgis.

So Ceara put on a tuxedo instead.

"She's a very athletic person" said Veronica Rodriguez, Ceara's mother.

She says her daughter should be allowed to wear whatever she likes.

"And the tuxedo is what she wore to make her feel more comfortable" added Rodriguez.

But Wesson Attendance Center officials are refusing to put her photo in the school yearbook.

"It makes me feel i'm not important enough. Like just because I'm wearing a tux I can't be in my senior yearbook. It's like i never even went there. That's my yearbook. This is my senior year and i'm not gonna be able to be in there because I'm wearing a tux. I don't think it matters what we're wearing" said Ceara.

A spokesperson for the Copiah County School District refused an on camera interview. However she did admit that there is no such policy dealing with yearbook pictures in their student handbooks.

She says in these cases, they leave it up to the individual principal of the school to make the final decision.

Principal Ronald Greer wouldn't talk to us either, but he did issue a statement.

"I am not going to be able to make a comment on that particular situation," the statement read.

Copiah County School Board spokesperson Martha Traxler told us we should dig deeper into the issue. She claims the issue goes beyond just clothing.

So went back to Ceara and her mother.

"That's just who I am. I don't dress like a girl. I don't even own any girl clothe,s" said Ceara.

We then asked Ceara is she was openly gay.

"Oh yeah" she replied, adding that she has known she was gay since the 9th grade.

"Gay or not. That's my daughter and I love her" said Rodriguez.

Neither the principal or Copiah county school board officials would address the "gay"issue.

We got a copy of the Wesson Attendance Center 2009-2010 handbook. On the first page, under their non-discrimination policy, It reads "Wesson Attendance Center prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, or sex ..."

We also found a 2008 Wesson yearbook. Inside are pictures from what Ceara refers to as the 2008 backwards beauty and beau pageant. It was held just last year.

"It's when the girls dress like guys and the guys dress like girls" said Ceara.

And now Ceara wants to know ... If a backwards pageant can be held at the school and a picture of the event placed in last year's yearbook, then why can't her picture in a tuxedo be in this year's book.

"I'm paying for the yearbook. I paid for my senior pictures. Why can't it be in there" asked Ceara.

Until she gets answers, she says she feels like she's been biten by the school mascot, which is a cobra!

"What's so wrong about it? why is it wrong? tell me" Ceara said.

That is an answer Ceara's mother intends to find out and she's hired an attorney.

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jill October 16, 2009, 11:45 AM

One word: SUE!!! That is not right that they are discriminating against a girl wearing a tuxedo. Big Deal! I’m sure that school has no issue with the high school girls wearing tops that are barely more than a bra! This person, regardless of her orientation, should be able to wear whatever in her yearbook.


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