Yearbook Photos of Girls Were Altered to Hide Their Chests

There had been rumors all day that the yearbook pictures had been altered, mentioned Riley O’Keefe, a ninth grader at Bartram Trail High School in St. Johns County, Fla.

When she lastly received her copy, Ms. O’Keefe, 15, opened the web page to her picture and laughed in disbelief.

A black bar had been added to cowl extra of her chest, she mentioned. Then, Ms. O’Keefe thumbed by means of the remaining of the yearbook. Dozens of different college students — all ladies — had related edits, many of them clumsy alterations that lined extra of their chests.

Ms. O’Keefe mentioned she had been confused at first, then livid. Other ladies approached her and mentioned the alterations made them really feel sexualized and uncovered.

Many college students and fogeys are actually demanding an apology.

They mentioned the altered pictures had been the most recent in a collection of crackdowns by directors who’ve used an outdated costume code to police the best way ladies costume.

“They need to recognize that it’s making girls feel ashamed of their bodies,” Ms. O’Keefe mentioned of the altered pictures.

At least 80 pictures of feminine college students had been altered. No photos of male college students, together with one of the swim workforce by which the boys wore Speedo bathing fits, had been digitally altered, in accordance to Ms. O’Keefe and fogeys who noticed the yearbook.

School directors and district officers didn’t reply to requests for touch upon Saturday.

Bartram Trail, a public highschool with about 2,500 college students, says on its website that yearbook pictures “must be consistent with the St. Johns County School District Student Code of Conduct or may be digitally adjusted.”

Christina Langston, a district spokeswoman, instructed The St. Augustine Record {that a} trainer who serves because the yearbook coordinator had made the edits.

“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,” Ms. Langston instructed The Record.

She mentioned the varsity was providing refunds and “receiving feedback from parents/guardians/students on making this process better for next year.”

Ms. O’Keefe’s mom, Stephanie Fabre, and stepmother, Taryn O’Keefe, mentioned they deliberate to attend a college board assembly this week to name for modifications to the costume code, which forbids ladies to put on tops or shirts that don’t cowl “the entire shoulder” or from sporting shorts or skirts which can be greater than 4 inches above the knee.

Shirts “must be modest and not revealing or distracting,” the dress code states.

“They’re all good students, and we’re going to focus on whether you have too much shoulder showing?” Taryn O’Keefe mentioned. “It’s out of control.”

In March, students were outraged when directors at the highschool stood within the hallway and referred to as out dozens of ladies or took them out of class for violating the costume code.

One male trainer referred to as out at a pupil who wore a zip-up jacket over a sports activities bra, mentioned Riley O’Keefe, who mentioned she had spoken to the lady.

The lady was ordered to take away the jacket and put on a white T-shirt that college officers gave her, Ms. O’Keefe mentioned. The lady additionally described what occurred to News4Jax.

The subsequent day, some of the boys protested in solidarity with the women by sporting attire and skirts. One boy wore swim shorts over his pants and a vibrant pink wig, Ms. O’Keefe mentioned.

Ms. O’Keefe mentioned that so far as she knew, none of the boys had been disciplined.

After the March incident, which college students have described as a “sweep,” Ms. O’Keefe began an online petition to change the dress code. It has almost 5,000 signatures.

Credit…Bartram Trail High School Yearbook

Adrian Bartlett, whose daughter, Brooke, 15, is a ninth grader at the highschool, mentioned she additionally needed the varsity to reprint the yearbooks with out alterations.

She mentioned that when her daughter had obtained her yearbook final week, it regarded as if an oblong piece of her plaid shirt had been reduce and pasted over her chest.

It was infuriating, she mentioned, after her daughter had struggled with stress from the pandemic and different psychological well being points over the previous yr.

“The school did a horrible job of protecting our children’s mental health by body-shaming,” Ms. Bartlett mentioned. “It’s making our kids feel like they should cover up their bodies, they should be ashamed of them, and it was humiliating for many of them.”

Nancy Tray, 44, whose daughter is within the fifth grade, mentioned the costume code is usually enforced beginning in center college. She mentioned it is written in a way that provides extensive latitude to principals.

Even if a toddler is abiding by the code, an administrator might resolve {that a} lady’s costume or shorts are nonetheless too brief, Ms. Tray mentioned. Often, feminine college students put on sweatpants or lengthy pants in Florida’s scorching climate slightly than danger being pulled out of class and disciplined, she mentioned.

Ms. Tray mentioned her son, who’s within the eighth grade, by no means had to fear about the best way he dressed.

“When he started middle school, he rolled out of bed, pulled on some clothes and tossed them on,” she mentioned. “I’ve been fighting this daily to give my daughter that same opportunity.”

Ms. Tray mentioned she worries about what the coverage may do to her daughter’s shallowness.

She mentioned her son recalled one sixth-grade lady had worn a sundress on her first day of college solely to have a trainer scold her in entrance of different college students.

“We’ve worked really hard over the last 10 years to raise a strong, confident, sassy girl,” Ms. Tray mentioned. “If her middle school tries to take that away from her, my husband and I are going to have a huge problem with it.”

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