Students at a Catholic high school in San Francisco dressed up in protest on Friday to support a female classmate whose yearbook and graduation pictures were removed because she wore a tuxedo for her senior photo, KTVU-TV reported.
The controversy at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory began on Thursday, when someone working on the yearbook informed Jessica Urbina’s brother that the picture was pulled over her choice of attire. School policy requires girls to wear what are commonly referred to as “drapes,” while boys must wear a shirt, jacket and tie. The decision also meant Urbina’s picture was in danger of not being featured during the school’s upcoming graduation ceremony.
In response, supporters of Urbina not only wore neckties and bowties to school, but they organized a Twitter page announcing their campaign online and promoted it via the tag #JessicasTux with pictures of themselves in ties. The campaign also featured a picture of Urbina and her girlfriend, Katie Emanuel, taken before they went to prom earlier this year.
— taramoriarty (@taramoriarty1) May 16, 2014
“I support my girlfriend,” Emanuel told reporters on Friday. “I support my school and want it to be the best it can for people like us.”
The school released a short statement on Friday suggesting it would not reconsider its dress code, but might include a different photo of Urbina during the graduation event.
“As we prepare to pass out yearbooks it is always regretful when a student portrait is omitted for any reason,” Sacred Heart’s statement read. “As a community we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that all students are included in the future.”
But many students said on Friday that the school should be more accomodating to changing societal mores.
“It’s not just ‘boys and girls’ now, there is so much more,” a friend of Urbina’s, Tatiana Richardson, told KNTV-TV. “They teach at this Catholic school to be who were are, to accept everybody, so that’s what we’re doing.”
Watch KTVU’s report, as aired on Friday, below.