Society

Catholic School Apologizes for Banning Picture of Girl in Tux from Yearbook

| by Michael Allen

Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, a Catholic school in San Francisco, announced today that it is going to reprint its yearbooks after intentionally removing the graduation photo of student Jessica Urbina, who wore a tuxedo.

Urbina's tuxedo picture violated school policy, which required female students to wear dresses.

Last week, students rallied around the teen with a social media campaign, started by her brother, and wore bow ties to school.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, school president John Scudder Jr. and principal Gary Cannon said in a statement today, "Given the nature of this specific case, we believe that decision, while conforming with our policy, was wrong. Moreover, the lack of communication with the family led to even greater anguish."

Scudder and Cannon said the incident "reminded us that we still have much growth to achieve. While many gay and lesbian alumni and students have commented on the inclusive, supportive aspect of our school community, others have remarked on some prejudice that still exists. As a school, we must better learn how to support our students who are navigating issues of gender identity."

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The Advocate noted that school officials said the dress code will soon be updated so that female students no longer have to wear dresses.

According to the New York Daily News, the school officials added, "While there are those who want to make this situation an example of problems with Catholicism, we want to be clear that this letter, our apology, and our decisions moving forward come not in spite of our Catholicism, but precisely because of it."

Sources: San Francisco Chronicle, New York Daily News, The Advocate