Officials at a San Francisco Catholic school have formally apologized after axing a teen's photo from the 2014 yearbook because she wore a tuxedo instead of a dress.
A statement on the Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory School's website offers amends to 18-year-old Jessica Urbina and her parents, Tony and Ana Urbina, and continues as follows:
As in past school years, any senior who sat for senior portraits but did not conform to the dress code did not have a portrait included in the portrait pages of the yearbook. Given the nature of this specific case, however, we believe that decision, while conforming with our policy, was wrong.
It went on to note:
As a result of Thursday’s conversation, we immediately made the decision to ensure that Jessica’s senior portrait photo would appear in all places and events where other senior portraits appeared. We also reassured her, as we have throughout the school year and at various school functions, that her choice of clothing for graduation and end of the year ceremonies would be supported.
You can read the full statement here.
NBC Los Angeles reports that school administrators suggested reprinting the yearbook to include Urbina’s original photo in her tuxedo in the portrait section, but that the student and her family did not want students to wait to receive their yearbooks.
Instead, they have suggested "other methods" to include Jessica’s senior portrait that will allow students to receive the book on schedule, but did not elaborate further, according to the report.
The case made national headlines after Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory officials announced that Urbina's portrait had been omitted from the yearbook because she violated the school's policy, which requires female students to wear a dress in their senior photo.
Last week, Urbina's classmates rallied around their friend by wearing ties and button-down shirts to school. Meanwhile, Jessica's brother Michael Urbina launched a social media campaign in support of his sister using the hashtag #JessicasTux.
Among those to support Urbina was Katie Emanuel, who claimed to be Urbina's girlfriend, according to KTVU.
"I support my girlfriend," she told reporters. "I support my school and want it to be the best it can for people like us."