One high school in the US state of Florida has really stepped into it as far as the Internet is concerned and it raises interesting questions about photo editing and the motivations behind it.
An annual rite of passage for many US high schoolers is having photos taken and published in what is called a yearbook. If you’ve never heard of a yearbook or this isn’t a tradition with which you’re familiar, think of it as Facebook for the print age.
It collates students by class and displays some of their activities and achievements throughout the year.
People tend to sign one another’s yearbook to make it a keepsake of one’s time in school. So, as you can imagine, drawing negative attention in any way to something like this isn’t a good move no matter what the “intentions” behind the decision were.
And that decision was to edit out cleavage from female student photos. PetaPixel reports that female students of Bartram Trail High School in St. Johns County noticed their photos were altered to hide their chest with some have it blurred out or the fabric of their clothing awkwardly stretched across.
To further underscore the gendered nature of this editing, there were pictures of the high school boys’ swim team in speedos that were unaltered.
Apparently, a teacher involved with the yearbook unilaterally decided to make these edits after deciding the female students had somehow violated the dress code in their photos.
All of this has prompted a response from the school district, naturally:
“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. At this point the school is offering refunds to any parents calling about this issue. The school is receiving feedback from parents/guardians/students on making this process better for next year.”
PetaPixel further reports that the school has come under fire in the past for overzealous enforcement of its dress code policies where female students are regarded. Reportedly, 78% of all of the dress code violations at the school are leveled against female students, an amount so overwhelming that a 4,000-signature petition was generated years ago urging the school to reevaluate its policies.
What do you think of the school’s decision to edit female students’ visible cleavage in yearbook photos? Let us know your thoughts on this high school’s actions in the comments below.
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