Speaking as a former yearbook editor, this is a deliberate injustice!
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Not only is this disrespectful to Ceara, but also to her classmates, and all other GLBT students, faculty, and staff in that school! Trust me, she is NOT alone! The editors, the sponsors, and everyone in higher authority at that school should be ashamed of their behavior. The bigotry displayed by these so-called adults towards this courageous young woman is unconscionable.
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My lesbian daughter was fully supported in her request to be photographed in a tux; she felt a drape gown and pearls was a misrepresentation. She never misrepresented herself beforewhy should she be forced to then? She also attended her prom with her tux-wearing girlfriend--without incident. As a result, she had a happy end to her high school career, which she deserved, as do all children. We live in a suburban community north of San Francisco, so obviously that made a difference It's shameful that a school should endeavour to hurt any student in this way.
Disappearing a student?
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You've got to be kidding. Fortunately, they've been pretty ineffectual, thanks to the internet Ceara, you are awesome for standing up. It will be easier for other kids because of you. Paul, as the founder and editor of the Jackson Free Press, I can tell you that many Mississippians are NOT settling for being backward or regressive in any way. You wouldn't believe the progressive movement going on in this state right now -- which includes many progressive people of faith who are supportive of gay rights. Of course, the national media do not tend to report those things about us, so the story doesn't get out.
They blow it up when we do stupid things like in the recent gay teenager scandals , which is fine, but they seldom balance it by noticing our progress and the very real work on the ground here on racial reconciliation and other human-rights, social-justice issues. But that's OK. We will keep up the good fight, and this newspaper will keep bringing whatever needs to be brought to light, regardless of what any political party or special interest group thinks about it, and without regard to what a woefully un-diverse national media thinks about it.
That is not to be defensive; it is to tell you that you do not know the whole story about this state because no one is telling you. This is crazy, folks. It is also interesting that some of these same folks who aided in the decision to keep the young kid out of her yearbook are the same ones who will ignore the abuse of children.
Why don't they help with the movement against the Pope who has hidden so much of the Church's sexual abusive history against young males and females? This would seem like a better cause. Just thinking. The first is about discriminationthe latter merely petty. Girls are not required to wear dresses to school; even in schools where uniforms are required girls wear pants. So why is a girl required to wear a dress for a senior photo? Many girls including my own daughter are not comfortable in dresses, and never wear one, so to be forced to do something to fit what is basically a social construct really, what difference does it make or why is it anyone's business if a girl want's to dress in more masculine attire, or a boy in more feminine?
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And while individuality may not be a focus in secondary education It takes an incredible amount of courage to go against the norma norm that is in place to demean, diminish and promote bigotry, prejudice, and intolerance. Remember when women wore "male" neckties and "male" tuxedos to include the satin strip up the side. I just called the Copiah School District to tell them that I am disgusted that they would treat a child in this manner. I ask that you do the same: Some female answered, listened for a few seconds and then slammed the phone down. We need someone to try to interview those jokers.
Thanks Justjess. Even if they are hanging up on people, they are getting the message. That's not the point sinkingship. They erased her entire experience and existence. It was not JUST the photo. What sort of message is this school and school district sending to our gay kids? Just look at Nathan Kolton's comment.
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THAT is the message those kids are getting from the adults who are there to educate them, not judge them. Mississippi is better than this. Along the same lines I was just forwarded this link I also just called the school directly at and spoke to a woman on the phone. She kindly listened to my assertion that it was disrespectful to erase her from the yearbook. When I asked her if she understood the pain that would cause her and her family, she just said "no comment" and hung up.
I do applaud her. But the fact that freedom of speech and expression may have certain consequences doesn't negate the fact that the school took discriminatory action against her, singled her out, and negated her high school existence based on an arbitrary, outdated "rule" that has no place in our current society. Not only that girls must wear dresses, but that they must not wear tuxes, or appear masculine or gender variant, or be gay A dress is only a dress if it's something you WANT to wear.
Just because the "rules" exist, and existed when you or I graduated for me, that was '72, and we were allowed to wear our regular clothes doesn't make them right. I'd like to add, having 3 kids who are all young adults nowI've PAID for each and every one of those year books, and they are not cheap. So why shouldn't I, or my child, have a say in how they are represented?
No one has the right to determine what is important to another. And you and I can agree to disagree. But discrimination is discrimination.
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That's awesome that y'all are actually calling the school! Change happens through action, not bitching online. I'm too much a coward to do that. I would recommend asking to speak to an administrator first before making your case the next time you call. That's true DrumminD, but if those administrators are not going to talk to the press, they certainly are not going to talk to me.
But somehow, I think the nice lady will tell them about the calls. You don't have to tell the secretary why you are calling. Make up a story.
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I think that it's ok to lie in this situation, at least in my Bible. Pretend you are a member of the PTA wanting to schedule some events, then when the principal gets on the phone, let her have it!
I have, and Ceara is infact in the year book! The only thing that seems to be missing is her "Senior picture". However, her baby pictures are in there, the who's who has her picture, her band picture, soccer team photo, prom photos and a "senior page" of her was allowed. Note also, that she is in fact shown in a tux in both the "senior page" and prom photos. She is most definitely included in the yearbook. Maybe it was wrong to exclude her senior picture from the spread If the officials had allowed a straight female to wear a tux, but not Ceara But there was no straight females in tuxes.
It just seems like southern fried tradition has claimed another poor soul in the bible belt. Ceara quite possibly could have had a choice to just do a face shot which I was allowed to do for my year book , showing her in neither a tux or a dress Wasn't her choice for a tux based on just being comfortable with what she was wearing for the photo?
A face shot can be done with just a t-shirt, which is more comfortable than a tux in my opinion. Back to my point I don't know if this is a writers oversight, or a source's lie; but it should be noted somewhere that she's in the yearbook, being acknowledged as a student at that high school and a senior , but JUST her senior picture is missing. Two guys.
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