Texas

School district relents, will allow transgender student’s tuxedo photo

J. Michael Short, SPLC
Stella Loredo (left) and her son, Jeydon Loredo. Staff Reports

HOUSTON — A South Texas school district has reversed course and will allow a photo of a transgender student in a tuxedo to appear in the teen’s high school yearbook.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says that after a Friday afternoon meeting, the La Feria school district decided to include the photo of Jeydon Loredo, who grew up female but now identifies as a male. Loredo said earlier this week that the district was not allowing his photograph, saying it violated “community standards.”

J. Michael Short, SPLCStella Loredo (left) and her son, Jeydon Loredo.

J. Michael Short, SPLC
Stella Loredo (left) and her son, Jeydon Loredo.

In an agreement reached during the meeting, attorneys for the school district agreed to provide written confirmation that Jeydon’s tuxedo photo will appear in the yearbook along with the other students in his class.

In addition, the district agreed to follow its own corrective policies for cases of gender discrimination and provide training for those involved, along with a comprehensive education program for the school community. The district will also expressly include gender expression in its anti-discrimination policies.

“We are very pleased that the school district has recognized Jeydon for who he is and will allow his photo in the yearbook along with all his classmates,” said Alesdair Ittelson, staff attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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“This is a signal to other school districts that transgender students should be recognized as important members of their communities rather than ostracized and subjected to discrimination. We applaud Jeydon’s courage in standing up for his rights,” said Ittelson.

The law center had threatened to file a lawsuit if a decision allowing the photograph wasn’t made by Nov. 21.

Superintendent Raymundo Villarreal says the resolution is in the best interest of the student and the district.

La Feria is about 30 miles east of McAllen.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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