After a protracted fight, the La Feria School Board in South Texas decided to allow the formal senior portrait of Jeydon Loredo to appear in La Feria High School's yearbook. The board previously nixed the photo because Jeydon appeared in a tux and is transgender.
Jeydon and his family were first informed his photo wouldn't be running in the yearbook in late October, according to a release issued by the Human Rights Campaign. Initially the family wasn't even allowed physical copies of the photo (because it seems a kid in a tuxedo is so repugnant that a photo of it can't be allowed to exist in the world.)
Maybe not running the photo seemed like a good idea to the folks over at La Feria at the time, but soon after they said the photo couldn't run, the Loredo family had the Human Rights Campaign, a huge organization working for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights, on their side, along with the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Efforts to resolve the issue failed, and that's where having the Human Rights Campaign and the Southern Poverty Law Center on their side really came in handy for the Loredo family. The Human Rights Campaign launched a nationwide petition to allow Jeydon's photo to run in the yearbook, and when school district officials still weren't on board, Human Rights Campaign officials threatened a federal lawsuit if the photo didn't run.
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That was last Wednesday. By Friday, an attorney from the Southern Poverty Law Center met with district attorneys and agreed to put it in writing that the photo would appear in the yearbook. The school district will also be going one step further, agreeing to follow its own corrective policies for cases of gender discrimination and provide training for those involved, along with a comprehensive education program for the school community. The district will also expressly include gender expression in its anti-discrimination policies, according to the release. This is all well and good, but it seems to Hair Balls it would all have been a lot simpler if they'd just allowed Jeydon's photo to run in the first place.