Principal Relents, Lets Girl Wear Tux for Yearbook

School told teen she had to dress like a girl for picture

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A high school principal reverses a decision to require a lesbian to wear a drape like the other girls in order to have her picture taken for the yearbook.

    Ebonee Williams just isn't comfortable in girls' clothes.

    So it follows that the Waldorf, Md., senior was upset when she was told she couldn't appear in the Westlake High School yearbook unless she dressed like the other girls.

    "I don't dress like a girl," the 17-year-old said. "This is how I dress. I'll dress T-shirts and jeans. I don't really dress girly."

    When Williams, who is a lesbian, went to have her yearbook picture taken a couple of weeks ago, she wanted to wear a tux like the boys. She was told she could wear a drape like the rest of the girls or the book would be published without her mug.

    That decision outraged Ebonee, and her mother, Nekia Green, who said they believed it was discrimination based on her sexual orientation.

    "I don't think it's fair that if I don't feel comfortable wearing the drape that I should have to put it on," Ebonee said.

    "I'm totally behind her not wanting to do it, and for her not to be in her yearbook after working four years to be able to graduate, I don't think it's cool," Green said.

    But the school has since reversed its position.

    "[The principal] came about that decision through investigation into past policies at both Westlake and other high schools in the county, and when she found that it had been allowed before, she decided to reverse her decision," Charles County Public Schools spokeswoman Katie O'Malley-Simpson said.

    Ebonee will be allowed to sport a tux in the yearbook photo re-shoot session early next month.