Bartram Trail High

Florida High School Alters Girls Yearbook Book Photos, Offering Parents Refund

A Florida high school has offered refunds to parents who bought a yearbook with dozens of edited photos of female students that the school deemed wearing inappropriate attire.

Bartram Trail High School edited the photos of 80 students, according to the St. Augustine Record. The photos appear to have been edited for modesty.

“There’s a black box over my chest and the cardigan on the side like moved over and it looks really awkward and I was very confused,” one student told News4Jax.

News4Jax reporter Ben Ryan tweeted out, “This is a before and after yearbook photo was taken of Bartram Trail 9th grade high school student, Riley O’Keefe. She says it was deemed inappropriate by the school and photoshopped in the printed edition. Parents and students are now asking for a major change.”

The school district told local media the changes were made to ensure the photos met the dress code, which says girls’ shirts must be “modest”.

But critics pointed to yearbook photos of male students left unedited despite violating the same standards.

The digital alterations were made without permission, the students say.

Bartram Trail High School’s yearbook coordinator, a female teacher, made the decision to edit the photos after determining they had violated the dress code, the St Johns County school district said.

But some students haven accused the school of sexism.

“The double standard in the yearbook is more so that they looked at our body and thought just a little bit of skin showing was sexual,” Bartram Trail student Riley O’Keefe, 15, told CBS affiliate WJAX News.

The school district’s dress code for the 2020-2021 school year says that girls’ tops and shirts “must cover the entire shoulder” and must be “modest and not revealing or distracting”. “Excessive make-up” is not permitted and all students are prohibited from donning “extreme hairstyles”.

Joe McLean, a journalist for WJXT4 tweeted out, “All of these photos appeared in the Bartram Trail HS yearbook, but only 1 was digitally altered because the yearbook coordinator believed it violated the student code of conduct.

“Another side-by-side comparison of a Bartram Trail High School student’s edited yearbook photo. We’re working to get more info on how these decisions were made.”

Dress codes have been criticized in recent years, with some saying they are applied in ways that shame young women and girls about their bodies.

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