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Florida school bans picture of lesbian in tux from yearbook

Florida school bans picture of lesbian in tux from yearbook

The picture of a lesbian student dressed in a tuxedo will not be permitted in her school's yearbook, school officials in Clay County, Fla., have decided. Principal Sam Ward of Fleming Island High School made the initial decision to pull Kelli Davis's picture from the yearbook, saying he did so because Davis, was dressed in boys clothes. The county school board and its superintendent backed the decision, which was debated at a Thursday night school board meeting attended by about 200 people. However, 15 of the 24 people who spoke at the meeting were in favor of Davis, and nine supported the principal's decision. Kelli's mother, Cindi Davis, asked the board to reverse Ward's decision. "This is not to be treated as a gay rights issue," her mother said. "Rather, it's a human rights issue." Some applauded Ward's decision, including Karen Gordon, who said, "When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds." School officials have maintained that sexual preference is not the issue, it is gender. They said that since Davis did not follow the rules on dress, she will not be in the yearbook. Bruce Bickner, an attorney representing the school board, said that while there is no written dress code for senior pictures, the district gives principals the authority to set standards. The board took no action to reverse Ward's decision, and Superintendent David Owens said the decision will stand. (AP)

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