A lesbian teen whose portrait was kept out of her high school yearbook after she rejected a dress code has settled her federal lawsuit against the Hillsborough County school district in Tampa, Fla. Nikki Youngblood filed the suit in 2002, accusing the district and Robinson High School of discrimination and violating her rights to free expression and equal protection under the law. The settlement upholds a principal's right to set a dress code but allows a student to appeal that standard. No money was awarded.
"I'm just happy that no other female student will have to be excluded from her senior yearbook just because she doesn't conform to someone else's gender stereotypes," Youngblood said. School administrators refused to let her wear unisex or male clothing in her yearbook portrait, insisting that she wear a "scoop neck drape," as other girls did, according to the lawsuit. Youngblood opted to not comply, and her photo was not taken.