Transgender student fights to have his photo included in high school yearbook

A civil rights group is demanding that a Texas school district reconsider its decision that prohibits a transgender student from having his photo published in the high school yearbook.

Jeydon Loredo, who identifies as a male, is a senior at La Feria High School in La Feria, Texas, and for his yearbook photo, was wearing a tuxedo. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the student was informed by La Feria Superintendent Rey Villareal that the photo would not be included in the yearbook because it violated community standards.

On Monday, Jeydon asked the board to overrule the superintendent and allow the photo to be included, but the school board declined to take action. In response, the Law Center has intervened on the student's behalf.

"[U]nless you provide prompt assurances that you will allow Jeydon's tuxedo photograph to appear to appear in the La Feria yearbook, SPLC will commence legal action to remedy the constitutional violations suffered by our client," the SPLC says in a letter to the school board.

The center contends that the district is serving no important government objective in refusing to allow the yearbook photo, and that allowing the photo would not disrupt "the work and discipline of the school."

By refusing to include Jeydon’s tuxedo photo, [the district] denies Jeydon an opportunity offered to all other boys in the district — the opportunity to be featured in the yearbook in gender-appropriate clothing." the SPLC says. "This denial is solely because Jeydon does not fit Superintendent Villarreal and the Board’s stereotypes concerning sex and gender."

In the letter, the Law Center asks that the school board confirm in writing by Nov. 21 that it will allow Jeydon's tuxedo photo in the yearbook, or lawyers will file a federal lawsuit to force the district to do so.

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