A South Texas transgender teenager who grew up female but identifies as male is not allowed to appear in his high school yearbook dressed in a tuxedo.
According to CBS News, Jeydon Loredo, a senior at La Feria High School in La Feria, and his mother said that his school district wouldn’t allow the photo to appear in the yearbook because it violates “community standards.”
As a result, Loredo and lawyers with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) are threatening to file a lawsuit against the La Feria school district if the photo isn’t included in the yearbook.
"I've lived here my whole life, and I've grown up with the kids here. ... Denying my tuxedo photo would be a way for the district to forget me and everything I've brought to this community. The yearbook is for the students, not the faculty or the administration. It is a way for us to remember each other," Loredo said in a statement.
In an interview with CBS News, Loredo’s mother, Stella, said that school district Superintendent Raymundo Villarreal told her that the photo wouldn’t be put into the yearbook because "they were a conservative school and that wouldn't follow the school policy as far as their dress code," she said.
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According to CBS News, Stella said she was told the photo would only be put in the yearbook if her son wore feminine clothing like a drape or blouse.
"That's why I'm upset because, I mean, all of his family is accepting. All of his friends are accepting. So why can't they?" she said. "I can confirm that the administration has received a request regarding a dress code variance for a senior year book picture," Villarreal said in a statement. "The district's legal representative has reached out to the student's counsel to engage in communication with the hope of a resolution. The district will follow the law, district policy and the appropriate procedures as it pertains to the request."
As CBS News reports, SPLC lawyer Alesdair Ittelson said that Jeydon Loredo’s right to freedom of expression under the First Amendment has been violated, as well as the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In a written letter to the school board, Ittelson said the SPLC would file a lawsuit if the photograph isn’t included in the yearbook by Nov. 21.