An Alabama high school student who wore a tuxedo for her senior portrait instead of the traditional black drape for girls received her yearbook only to discover that her photo was missing.
Holley Gerelds, who graduated this year from Springville High School, told in Birmingham that she wanted to be herself in her senior portrait so she asked the photographer if she could wear a tuxedo.
“It’s what I’m more comfortable in,” she told the outlet. “I feel like if I was to wear the drape it’s not me.”
Traditionally, female seniors at the high school in Springville northwest of Birmingham wear a V-neck, black- velvet drape for their portraits.
Gerelds, who according to WVTM is part of the LGBT community, said it would have been “kind of humiliating” to have to wear the drape.
The photographer agreed to let Gerelds wear a black tux, but when she received her yearbook earlier this week she noticed that her portrait was not published. Instead, her name was listed on a back page as “Not Pictured.”
“I hate to say it, but I’m used to it. I saw it coming,” she told WVTM. “I feel like I did nothing wrong. I paid, I was on time.”
Mike Howard, superintendent of the St. Clair County School District, said in a statement that senior portraits “were taken in accordance with long-standing school guidelines,” adding that the district is “reevaluating those guidelines to consider what changes, if any, need to be made.”
The superintendent said the school will reprint a page of the yearbook to include all students.
“I can confirm that the composite photograph of the Springville High School Class of 2019 will include all students that participated in the senior portrait process, regardless of their choice of attire,” Howard continued.
Gerelds said she hopes this incident will be a turning point for the school and that students will be able to “wear what they want.”