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School apologizes for not including yearbook photo

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A Catholic high school issued a public apology Monday to a student and her family for refusing to include a portrait of the girl wearing a tuxedo in its yearbook.

Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory President John F. Scudder Jr. and Principal Gary Cannon said in a joint statement on the school website that they had not communicated their yearbook portrait policy adequately to senior Jessica Urbina and her parents.

Jessica had her portrait taken last fall and elected to wear the tuxedo jacket and black bow-tie made available to boys instead of the black off-the-shoulder drape offered to girls.

Students at Sacred Heart wore ties over their polo shirts and sweatshirts on campus to protest the administration's decision to omit Jessica's photo.

Jessica's family has requested that the yearbook not be reprinted for her sake because they don't want the other students to have to wait to receive their copies.

The school said it would also change its policy on senior portraits.

“We agree with our students who showed solidarity with their classmate that the current policy regarding senior portraits is not adequate to meet the needs of our families or our mission,” the joint statement said.

In addition, Jessica's “choice of clothing for graduation and end of the year ceremonies would be supported,” it added.

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