Amador Principal Jim Hansen originally told Kenton Koos, an 18-year-old independent study student, that he'd violated school policy and the photo wouldn't be allowed.
Although Koos did wear a tuxedo as required, he'd spiked his hair and colored it green. He also painted a tribal tattoo on his face and sported a large nose ring in the shot.
Banning the photo caused a stir and the American Civil Liberties Union nearly got involved, but the district shifted gears almost immediately.
District guidelines allow for photos to be banned if they violate what Odie Douglas, assistant superintendent of educational services, described as "one of the protected classes."
"Something that's racial, something that may have some sexual overtones or profanity, something that may be obscene or project a level of hate, those things would not be allowed," Douglas explained. "His photo did not reflect any of those."
Douglas said Hansen has met with Koos to see whether he still wants his original photo in the yearbook.
"He was given the option to have his picture as it is, if he wants to change it, or if he wants to photoshop it, whatever he decides, that's what it will be," Douglas said.
He said the ACLU did not step in. Neither Koos nor his family could be reached for comment.