Catholic Prep School Cuts Senior Girl’s Photo Because She Wore “Boy Clothes”

Jessica Urbina and her girlfriend Katie, via Twitter

Students at San Francisco’s Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep school have taken to social media to protest the school’s decision to remove 18-year-old senior Jessica Urbina’s photo from the yearbook, because the tuxedo she’s wearing apparently violates the school’s conservative dress code policy.

According to school administrators, “male” students are required to wear tuxedos in their senior portraits, and “females” are required to wear dresses. In response to Urbina’s supposed “violation” of the rules, Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep decided to pull her photo from the yearbook altogether and refuses to display it when she receives her diploma at graduation.

Strangely enough, the school did allow Jessica to wear a tuxedo to this year’s prom, which she attended with her girlfriend Katie without incident.

Urbina's banned senior portrait, via Twitter
Urbina’s banned senior portrait, via Twitter

Determined to expose the school for their discriminatory dress code policies, Urbina’s brother Michael launched a social protest on Twitter, encouraging students to wear colorful bow ties in solidarity with his sister on Friday.

Principal Gary Cannon told reporters that the decision was not motivated by Jessica’s sexuality: “Straight, gay, bi, transgender, all that. They’re all welcome at Sacred Heart Cathedral, and at the same time we’re going to be clear in terms of being a Catholic institution what the Catholic church teaches and how do we live out that faith in a meaningful way, and in a supportive way with all of our students.”

The school has issued a non-apology, which conveniently avoids the fact that the decision has not been reversed, and that the entire senior class will receive 2013-2014 yearbooks that do not include Jessica Urbina’s senior portrait:

We are deeply proud of our students at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory. It is a special time of year as we honor our seniors for their many accomplishments and for their countless contributions to the life of our school and community.

As we prepare to pass out yearbooks it is always regretful when a student portrait is omitted for any reason. As a community we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that all students are included in the future.

We want to reassure our community that all graduating seniors are represented in the commencement program.

Check out the students standing in solidarity with Urbina on Twitter with the hashtag #JessicasTux:


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    all her in-standing pals at school should chip in and have her portrait done independently by a student who has a great camera, or by a studio, and each gets a copy! woooof!

  • toberlin

    They make look the system so outdated.Good Job!

  • Pax

    You go to a Catholic school which is governed and expect them to bend to us? There is a still a separation of church and state. Keep it separate and send your kids to different schools. They’ll continue to lose more and more parishioners and then they’ll change.

  • christineisalesbian

    They’re not being forced to conform to gender norms man, it’s a fuckin school dress code policy that sucks. We’ve ALL at some point had to wear some stupid shit because the dress code or your momma said to, and that’s part of going to school, especially a Catholic one. You’ve got to respect others’ religion and culture if you want your own to be respected

  • Ogre Magi

    Is anyone really surprised?

Comments are closed.