Way down in southwestern Mississippii, Ceara Sturgis makes no bones about being a lesbian. Everyone at her Wesson Attendance Center knows the 17-year old honor student, trumpet player and goalie on the girls' soccer team is gay.
Sturgis had her senior photograph taken last summer. When she submitted it for publication, school officials balked. No way is a girl going to wear anything other than a "drape." It's the same kind of garment women have been wearing in senior pictures since about 1901. Well, except for those institutions of learning which have chosen to move forward with the times. Broaden the mind and not the butt kind of thing.
Sturgis doesn't even own a dress -- certainly not a drape. So, it was only natural that she decided to wear a tux. She just wanted to express herself. "All I want is to be able to be me, and to be included in the yearbook."
The ACLU has given the school until Oct. 23 to respond before taking court action. Director Kristy L. Bennett said the teenager's constitutional rights are being violated and cited similar cases in other states which have been successfully challenged in court.