Jessica Urbina
School Apologizes for Removing Yearbook Photo of Teen Girl in Tux

By Jase Peeples

Originally published on Advocate.com May 21 2014 12:59 PM ET

Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, a Catholic school in San Francisco, made headlines last week for removing a photo of a female student wearing a tuxedo from its yearbook. Now school administrators have apologized to the student and offered to reprint the yearbooks to include the photo, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The portrait of Jessica Urbina was initially yanked from the yearbook because it violated school policy that required all female students to wear dresses. The removal of the photo was widely criticized as the news spread. Urbina’s fellow students united to support her by creating a social media campaign and participating in a demonstration Friday, which saw hundreds of students wearing ties to school protesting the school’s decision. “I’ve cried multiple times, overwhelmed with all this support,” Urbina told the Chronicle.

The backlash prompted the school to issue an official apology Monday from president John Scudder Jr. and principal Gary Cannon, who applauded the students for their support of Urbina. “Given the nature of this specific case,” the administrators said, “we believe that decision, while conforming with our policy, was wrong.”

School officials say the dress code will soon be updated to no longer require female students to wear dresses in an effort to be more sensitive every student’s gender identity, but they realize they “still have much growth to achieve.”

The administrators added, “As a school, we must better learn how to support our students who are navigating issues of gender identity.”