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Lesbian Teen Banned From High School Yearbook

(Green Cove Springs, Florida) The picture of a lesbian student dressed in a tuxedo will not be permitted in her school's yearbook, the Clay County school officials decided.

Principal Sam Ward of Fleming Island High School made the initial decision to pull Kelli Davis's picture from the yearbook, saying he did so because Davis, who is openly gay, was dressed in boy's clothes.

The county school board and its superintendent backed the decision, which was debated at a School Board meeting attended by about 200 people.

Fifteen of the 24 people who spoke at the meeting were in favor of Davis and nine supported the principal's decision.

Kelli's mother, Cindi Davis, asked the board to reverse Ward's decision.

"This is not to be treated as a gay right's issue," her mother said. "Rather it's a human rights issue."

Some applauded Ward's decision, including Karen Gordon, who said, "When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds."

School officials have maintained that sexual preference is not the issue, it is gender. They said since Davis did not follow the rules on dress, she will not be in the yearbook.

Bruce Bickner, an attorney representing the School Board, said there is no written dress code for senior pictures, but also said the district gives principals the authority to set standards.

The board took no action to reverse Ward's decision and Superintendent David Owens said the decision will stand.
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