San Francisco's Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep school got a thwhack from the social media ruler this week after the school banned a girl's yearbook photo because she decided to wear a tuxedo.
According to Sacred Heart's conservative rule book for senior portraits, the boys are meant to wear tuxes and the girls are supposed to wear dresses. 18-year-old Jessica Urbina, on the other hand, showed up to photo day last October wearing a tuxedo, which the school said was in violation of their dress code. Now that yearbook day and graduation are upon us, the school has pulled the photo from the yearbook and has said the photo will not be displayed when she receives her diploma at graduation. She did, however, get to wear her tuxedo to prom, which she attended with her girlfriend Katie.
SHC, please explain to me why MY SISTER cannot receive the same treatment as every other student? Why Sacred Heart Cathedral? #JessicasTux— Michael Urbina (@michael_urbina) May 15, 2014
Students at Sacred Heart, led by Jessica's brother and Sacred Heart alum Michael, protested the move by wearing colorful bowties to school on Friday in solidarity. The quiet demonstration prompted Sacred Heart to issue a statement standing by their decision to pull the photo:
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.
“Straight, gay, bi, transgender, all that. They’re all welcome at Sacred Heart Cathedral," school principal Gary Cannon told reporters, "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.”
After the story broke and flurry of tweets supporting #JessicasTux flew throughout the Bay Area, sent out by everyone from local radio DJs to disgruntled former Catholic school kids.