JACKSON, Miss. — Another Mississippi teenager is suing a rural school district, this time over a policy barring young women from wearing tuxedos in senior yearbook portraits.
Ceara Sturgis' dispute with the Copiah County School District started in 2009, well before a student in another Mississippi school district, Constance McMillen, found national attention in her fight to wear a tuxedo and take a same-sex date to prom.
Yesterday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit for Sturgis, claiming the Copiah County district discriminated against her on the basis of sex and gender stereotypes. Her photo and name were kept out of the yearbook.
The ACLU first contacted the district in October 2009 about the issue, but officials said they would adhere to a school policy. By the time Wesson Attendance Center yearbooks were released this spring, school officials had made clear Sturgis' photo in a tuxedo wouldn't be included. But Sturgis was surprised to see even her name was left out of the senior section.
"I guess in the back of my mind I knew that was going to happen, but I did have a little hope. I cried. I put my head down and put my hand ...