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Sturgis v. Copiah County School District

Location: Mississippi
Last Update: December 8, 2011

What's at Stake

When graduating senior Ceara Sturgis chose to wear a tuxedo for her senior yearbook photo, rather than the drape typically reserved for girls, her school, Wesson Attendance Center, responded by excluding her entirely from the senior portrait section of the yearbook. The ACLU seeks damages for Ceara and hopes to prevent gender discrimination in the future.

STATUS: Victory! In November 2011, after the court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss, the school district agreed to settle the case and add Ceara’s photo (in a tuxedo) to the wall of senior photos at the school. The school also agreed to change its policy for senior photos to have all students photographed wearing graduation robes and to amend its anti-discrimination policy to add language affirming its commitment to following the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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