Southern Poverty Law Center reduced to bullying school over transgender yearbook photo

Font Size:

Another public school has become embroiled in a transgender student controversy. This time it’s La Feria High School in the southeast corner of Texas, just a few miles from the border between the United States and Mexico.

The transgender student this time is 18-year-old Jeydon Loredo, a biologically female human being who wants to wear a dashing black-and-white tuxedo for her senior yearbook photograph.

The La Feria Independent School District told Loredo in September that she can’t wear the tuxedo for the yearbook photo. It violates a district dress code requiring female students to wear a blouse or something more traditionally worn by females in yearbook photos.

Loredo’s family as well as the school district quickly managed to escalate the situation up to maximum unreasonableness, apparently, because now the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is involved.

Alesdair Ittelson, an attorney with the far-left Alabama-based organization, assured The Brownsville Herald that the yearbook dress code is a violation of federal discrimination law.

“Though Jeydon was assigned a female gender at birth, his gender identity — his internal sense of gender — is male,” the SPLC said in a press release.

“Every major medical and mental health organization in the country recognizes that gender identity is distinct from biology.”

Ittelson, calling the 18-year-old Loredo “a boy,” insisted that Loredo is a male because she wants to be a male.

“Jeydon is a boy and must be treated like any other boy in the school district,” Ittelson said. “It’s a violation of his rights to deny him the opportunity to wear a tuxedo in his yearbook photo when other boys are given that opportunity.”

Loredo’s mother, Stella Loredo, expressed similar sentiments.

“As Jeydon’s parent, I really hope the school district will change its mind and allow that photo,” she said, according to The Herald. “I don’t think it’s good for the community to make this statement by denying the photo to appear in the yearbook.”

Loredo agreed.

“I want to be in the yearbook like everybody because it shows who I really am and down the road I don’t want people to forget me,” the student said, according to The Herald.

The school district, citing federal privacy law, has been largely silent.

The Daily Caller obtained a brief statement from district superintendent Raymundo P. Villarreal Jr.

“I can confirm that the administration has received a request regarding a dress code variance for a senior year book picture,” he said. “The district’s legal representative has reached out to the student’s counsel to engage in communication with the hope of a resolution.”

Meanwhile, the SPLC has given a Nov. 21 ultimatum.

“We hope that we don’t have to bring a federal lawsuit, but if it becomes necessary we absolutely will take it there,” Ittelson told local CBS affiliate KGBT.

Follow Eric on Twitter and on Facebook, and send education-related story tips to