School Uses Student's Bikini Pics To Justify Discrimination

Ceara Sturgis sued her school when they left her out of the yearbook for wearing a tux. Now administrators say that because she wore a bikini to a pool party, her lawsuit is invalid.

According to the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger, the ACLU filed suit against the Copiah County School District on Sturgis's behalf, alleging that they'd discriminated against her by cutting her from the yearbook. Now the district has filed documents saying that what they did is totally fine, because one time Sturgis wore a bikini to a school-sponsored pool party. This is apparently their counter-argument against Sturgis's assertion that she prefers to wear traditionally masculine clothing. Says the district, "it is hard to conceive of an item of clothing more sexualizing and feminine than a bikini."

The ACLU says Sturgis also wore long shorts in the photo, but correctly notes that that's not really the point. Says ACLU lawyer Bear Atwood, "The point is did the school engage in gender stereotyping when they made her wear a specific outfit designed only for girls." Whether Sturgis at any point wore clothing designed for girls doesn't really have any bearing on whether forcing her to wear such clothing in order to appear in the yearbook along with her fellow students is discriminatory. And as long as we're using the school district's logic, the fact that she once wore a bikini doesn't mean she's somehow lying about her dress preferences. After all, if she'd come in swim trunks alone, the school probably would've kicked her out of the pool.

School District Hopes Bikini Photographs Negate Lesbian's Lawsuit [Mississippi Clarion-Ledger]

Earlier: "That's Just Who I Am. I Don't Dress Like A Girl. I Don't Even Own Any Girl Clothes."