Copiah County School District in Mississippi cut senior Ceara Sturgis completely out of the Wesson Attendance Center 2010 class yearbook after the senior’s long battle with school officials to include a photo of her wearing a tuxedo. Ceara is lesbian, something that doesn’t bother her classmates: Fellow students nominated her to be prom queen, though she declined because she was concerned about how the administration would react.
Despite student support, it’s clear the adults in the Copiah County School District have some problems with Ceara. The class of 2010 yearbook contains not a single mention or picture of Ceara, despite her achievements and good grades. Ceara’s name is not even listed.
Ceara and her mother Veronica Rodriguez involved the Mississippi ACLU last year when officials decided not to allow Sturgis’ photo to appear in the senior yearbook because she chose to wear a tuxedo instead of a dress. In October, 2009 the ACLU wrote letter demanding officials use Ceara’s submitted photo in the yearbook, but Copiah County School District officials refused.
Her mother told the Jackson Free Press:
It’s like she’s nobody there, even though she’s gone to school there for 12 years. They mentioned none of her accolades, even though she’s one of the smartest students there with wonderful grades. They’ve got kids in the book that have been busted for drugs. There’s even a picture of one of the seniors who dropped out of school. I don’t get it. Ceara is a top student. Why would they do this to her?
Ceara is a lesbian, she stood up for her rights, she involved the ACLU. Mississippi school officials obviously don’t like these things, as we’ve seen from the Constance McMillen case.