Florida high school issues refunds after editing yearbook photos of 80 female students to ‘appear more modest’

Florida high school issues refunds after editing yearbook photos of 80 female students to ‘appear more modest’
Photo courtesy of @BenRyanANJax/Twitter

Parents and students of a Florida high school have now been offered refunds, after buying yearbooks with several edited photos of female students.

Bartram Trail High School reportedly edited 80 students’ photos to make them look more modest, according to local reports.

But parents and students were outraged because it was done without their consent and in violation of the student code of conduct.

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

“I didn’t think I would’ve been censored. I thought it was only one or two girls. So, I went to go look at my picture, and I was appalled to see that I was censored,” said another student to the outlet.

Ben Ryan, a news reporter for News4Jax, took to Twitter to highlight examples of students whose chest areas were completely covered for the yearbook photos.

The first photo was of a 9th grader at the high school.

With several parents and students complaining about the edits, the St Johns County School District noted that they would refund people as long as they return the yearbook.

The yearbooks were sold for $100 and were available to students on Wednesday.

“The digital alterations were a solution to make sure all students were included in the yearbook,” the district said.

The high school’s website also has a disclaimer that says the students’ photos could be “digitally adjusted” to fit the code of conduct.

The disclaimer reads, in part: “All images in ads and all individual student pictures must be consistent with the St. Johns County School District Student Code of Conduct or may be digitally adjusted.”

“Why are they allowed to be judgmental on cleavage or no cleavage? And if they are allowed to Photoshop, why aren’t you teaching them proper Photoshopping skills, and why did this teacher approve for this to go to print?” a parent told The St Augustine Record.

People Twitter had mixed reviews about the situation. Some weren’t against the school doing this as they didn’t want younger girls to be sexualized. Others pointed out issues of double standards and misogyny.

In March, Bartram Trail High School was in hot water after teenaged girls said they were taken out of their classes and sent to the dean’s office to change their clothes or face the consequence of suspension.

The incident ended up encouraging a petition to change this and had over 4,000 signatures.

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