Transgender teen fights to be pictured in yearbook
Thu, 14 Nov 2013 04:36:53 GMT —
A high school teen claims the La Feria School District told a high school senior his photo will not be in the yearbook.
His mother and the Human Rights Campaign said it TMs gender discrimination.
La Feria High School senior, Jeydon Loredo, identifies as male.
He wore a tuxedo in his senior portrait photo shoot, like all the other boys at school, but according to the teen, he was told it wouldn TMt be published in their yearbook.
"I had been waiting all day to take the picture and so when I found out| it was just really upsetting to me. I was so upset, I wasn TMt even going to take it," said Loredo.
The picture in question shows Loredo wearing a tuxedo.
While the yearbook photo has not posed a problem for other male students, the school district said the photo does meet "community standards.
We all support him and for the school district to be making this decision| saying he is not male and not allowing this photo to be in there, it TMs infuriating," said Loredo TMs mother, Stella Loredo.
Stella Loredo said the superintendent told her Jeydon TMs formal photo would only be in the yearbook if her son wore a drape or blouse.
The South Poverty Law Center and Human Rights Campaign claims it TMs discrimination and violates Jeydon's civil rights.
They claim that refusing to include the photograph violates the student's freedom of expression, which is protected by the First Amendment.
They also said it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which protects the student from discrimination, as well as Title IX, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex by any educational institution receiving federal money.
Loredo TMs attorney Alesdair Ittelson told Action 4 News that refusing to publish the photograph would even violate the school district's own anti-discrimination policies.
"We are going to do what is necessary to make sure that Jeydon's portrait is in the yearbook, and that he's in the yearbook wearing a tuxedo like the other boys in his school. We hope that we don TMt have to bring a federal lawsuit, but if it becomes necessary we absolutely will take it there," Ittelson said.
As for Jeydon, he just wants to be remembered and appreciated for who person he is.
"I just want to be in the yearbook to be remembered years down the road because people are going to forget their classmates, and that TMs going to be the only way to remember each other| so that TMs all I want, Jeydon said.
The Loredo family and their attorney Ittelson spoke during a community comments portion at the Monday's La Feria ISD school board meeting and they are currently still waiting for a response.
Action 4 News spoke to La Feria Superintendent Rey Villarreal about the case.
Villarreal said he could not speak about the issue on camera or in depth saying it was a confidential student issue and apparent pending litigation.
It TMs a student issue, Villarreal said. We TMre not going to debate it in the media.
But Villarreal confirmed that the final deadline for seniors yearbook photos is December 9th.
The La Feria ISD school board next meets on December 9th but it TMs not clear if the teen TMs case will be an agenda item or not.Click here to follow Action 4 News on Twitter