Students Excluded From Their High School Yearbook

Recently, two students believe that the reason that they were excluded from their school year book based solely on what they wore. Regardless of what the situation was or under what circumstances this happened under, there is only one thing to label this as; gender inequality. The gender roles at Lincoln High School in Stockton California make it out to be that males must wear a tuxedo or a suit and tie while females must wear a dress or a drape; regardless of what gender they identify as. This form of discrimination is explicitly against California’s Gender Nondiscrimination Act, and as such should not be tolerated.

Tom Ulsan, the superintendent of Lincoln Unified, stated that he would do anything to protect both students that were excluded from the yearbook. Even going as far as stating that he would reprint all the yearbooks to include their senior portrait. Even though he stated that he would reprint all of the school’s yearbooks, this does not excuse the fact that schools have discriminated students based on their gender identity and expression. To better help other schools from making the same mistake, they should allow their seniors to choose whatever they want to wear; yet the school should still have the power to dictate what is appropriate and what is not.

Despite all of this, students may still dress in something that would not normally be allowed. This is true, but we must also remember that senior portraits mark a special moment in everyone’s life. It marks the moment before adulthood where seniors are allowed to bask in the limelight without having to feel pressured. Yet the imposed dress code directly puts pressure on the seniors by making them dress in something that causes them to be uncomfortable. If students choose to dress in something that is seen as inappropriate they do so knowingly. They also accept the fact that by doing so, the teachers and staff have a right to make them change their apparel.

Taking all of this into account, hopefully we can see a yearbook with both students at Lincoln High School included in it. When we do see this book, then that’ll be the day when seniors can wear whatever makes them feel comfortable in their senior portraits.