School Uses Student's Bikini Pics To Justify Discrimination

Illustration for article titled 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."

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I don't know where to start with this. My personal feeling is that what people want to wear is their OWN DAMN BUSINESS - not mine. Who cares if she is gay or straight. If she is happy wearing a tux and not a dress, I could are less.

Maybe it is because I never wore a dress as a kid and was never forced to - my parents were very open about how gender norms are silly and defended that to the death. Of course, now, I wear skirts and dresses because I like them - they are frankly easier to wear for me haha.

Meanwhile, my little sister (little, she's in college haha) was the girly girl. But now is the challenger of norms. She's brilliant. She went to a party in a suit once. And she WORE that sucker. She had the confidence to wear it. And - imagine this - no one cared. She wore a tux with a bow in her hair. Big deal. The only people who cared were two girls at school who are super conservative and judgey. They said my sister wasn't welcome at a team function their mother was hosting because she is "a lesbian".

She isn't and was smart enough to know they don't matter. One of her friends (gay) killed himself and another contemplated suicide after his father threw him out, so she consciously makes the decision to challenge gender norms. She didn't stop because of idiotic people. She WANTS people to get used to it, to make progress. Doesn't make a huge deal about it, but does it. If someone calls her gay, she never says yes or no. She has a boyfriend, but like myself she doesn't make a huge deal about SO's. It's kind of great!

And that is why my baby sister is awesome!