Florida high school criticized for altering yearbook photos
ST. JOHNS, Fla. (AP) — Parents and students are criticizing teachers at a Florida high school for digitally altering photos in a yearbook in order to cover up students whose clothes the school officials deemed too immodest.
The St. Augustine Record reported that 80 students at Bartram Trail High School in northeast Florida had their yearbook photos altered without their consent in order to cover up exposed shoulders and low necklines.
Adrian Bartlett said her daughter’s yearbook picture was edited to add more shirt coverage.
“I think it sends the message that our girls should be ashamed of their growing bodies, and I think that’s a horrible message to send out to these young girls that are going through these changes,” Bartlett said.
The school’s yearbook coordinator, who is a teacher, decided that the photos were out of dress code and did some of the editing, said Christina Langston, school district spokeswoman.
Some parents and students have previously complained that the district’s dress code is sexist, noting that more than 80% of infractions over the last three years have been issued to female students, and that a photo of male students in swim briefs by a pool made it into the yearbook without editing.
Langston said a decision was made not to edit any team or club photos. The high school’s website says that all student pictures in the yearbook “may be digitally adjusted” if they don’t conform to the school district’s code of conduct.
“Bartram Trail High School’s previous procedure was to not include student pictures in the yearbook that they deemed in violation of the student code of conduct, so the digital alterations were a solution to make sure all students were included in the yearbook,” Langston said.
The school is offering yearbook refunds to anyone who complains about the changes and wants to turn in their yearbook, the schools spokeswoman said.
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