By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com November 16 2013 1:02 PM ET
Officials of a Texas school district have agreed to allow a transgender boy to have a picture of him wearing a tuxedo in his high school yearbook.
Administrators of La Feria Independent School District had initially rejected Jeydon Loredo’s senior portrait because he wore a tuxedo and not “feminine attire such as a drape or a blouse,” according to a press release from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which assisted the student in the dispute. SPLC and the Human Rights Campaign demanded that Loredo’s photo be allowed in the yearbook and threatened to sue if it was not.
In an agreement reached Friday evening, attorneys for the school district provided written confirmation that Loredo’s photo will appear in the yearbook. District staff will also present the school board with a proposed policy to prohibit discrimination based on gender expression, and attorneys will ask the school superintendent to apologize to Loredo and his mother.
“We are very pleased that the school district has recognized Jeydon for who he is and will allow his photo in the yearbook along with all his classmates,” SPLC staff attorney Alesdair Ittelson said in the release. “This is a signal to other school districts that transgender students should be recognized as important members of their communities rather than ostracized and subjected to discrimination. We applaud Jeydon’s courage in standing up for his rights.”
HRC president Chad Griffin also issued a statement, saying, “We’re thrilled Jeydon will be getting the justice he deserves. It’s a shame that it took a threat of legal action for the school board to make the right decision, but we’re grateful that, in the end, Jeydon’s photo will be included in the yearbook. Discrimination has no place in our society — especially our schools.”