Mississippi judge allows gay teen’s suit over yearbook photo
A Mississippi federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by gay teenager Ceara Sturgis over the Copiah County School Districts refusal to include a picture of her in a tuxedo in the high school yearbook’s senior section. The ACLU, which the lawsuit on behalf of Sturgis, claimed the school district discriminated against Sturgis on the basis of sex and gender stereotypes. Her photo and name were kept out of the senior section of the yearbook. However, Sturgis’ photo in the tuxedo did appear on a personal page in the yearbook that was purchased by her mother. The suit challenged the district’s policy allowing male students, but not female students, to wear a tux for senior portraits. The suit alleges a violation of Title IX, the federal law prohibiting discrimination based on gender. After graduating from high school, Sturgis attended Mississippi State University, then Copiah-Lincoln Community College. She now lives in Orlando, Fla., and plans to enroll at the University of Central Florida next year, she said.