A scandal’s erupted over high school yearbook photos.
At issue: an altering of the female form.
The hubbub began on March 26th when — at Central Florida’s Bartram Trail High — a massive inspection of attendees’ attire was carried out.
A total of 31 students — all of them girls — were cited for dress code offenses.
That resulted in pressure on the school district to revise the rules.
From The St. Augustine Record,
[Bartram] has more than 3,000 students, but 31 infractions on one day is much higher than its average of dress-code violations, which are typically about a dozen or fewer on any given day, according to figures provided by the district.
Some of the guidelines are a bit vague: In addition to shoulder-covering requirements and measurements for skirts, the policy employs the terms “modest” and “distracting.”
And some parents don’t dig the demands.
Count Taryn O’Keefe among them.
Taryn’s daughter, Riley, launched a Change.org petition to upgrade the guidelines.
Per the Record, she and others felt “targeted” by the checkup.
O’Keefe said…at least one friend of hers felt like she was having a panic attack in the bathroom.
But parents had been warned.
On March 22nd, they were sent a message following reports of teens sporting — in the words of Senior Director for School Services Paul Abbatinozzi — “crop tops, skirts, shorts, hats and pajamas.”
The edict was clear:
If a student is in violation of these rules (moving forward), he or she will be required to change and given a detention.
Fast-forward to last week, when the school made headlines again.
This time, it was over the editing of students’ yearbook photos.
The school had Photoshopped the tops of 80 female students without their consent.
Mom Adrian Bartlett told St. Augstine.com her daughter’s picture had been modified to cover her cleavage.
And it’s horrible:
“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.”
The public school system has certainly changed.
A few decades back, if you didn’t like the rules, you could go fly a kite. Wanna create a petition? Nobody cares.
And a mother wouldn’t likely have fought for her daughter’s right to show more of her shapes.
But the wheels of progress go ’round and ’round.
Adrian aired her grievance:
“My daughter has been hospitalized twice this school year due to the stress and pressure this past year has brought upon her, including body image issues, which she is still seeking regular treatment for. And now, the school has made a decision that is now drawing attention to her body in a negative way. It sends the message that our young girls should be ashamed of their naturally growing bodies.”
I’ll give the critics one thing: Whoever edited the images did an awful job.
Adrian noted that her daughter looked unnatural.
Even so, Bartram Trail’s website states that all yearbook photos “may be digitally adjusted” if they don’t meet dress code standards.
According to district spokeswoman Christian Langston, the 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.”
But now it’s a big stink.
And if you were wondering: Riley O’Keefe? Yep, she got edited.
Mama O’Keefe condemned it as “just more body shaming.”
The girl’ll be scarred for life:
“They’re already dealing with challenges with their peers. I think it sticks with them for their lifetime.”
Stephanie Fabre’s daughter’s chest was covered, too.
And she ain’t havin’ it:
“Why are they allowed to be judgmental on cleavage or no cleavage?”
Surely many male students are just as irate.
Moreover, Stephanie posed, “[I]f they are allowed to Photoshop, why aren’t you teaching them proper Photoshopping skills, and why did [a] teacher approve for this to go to print?”
It’s not a bad question.
Oh — and boys in speedos? Those pictures went untouched:
The school’s offering a refund to any parents who complain.
Back to Stephanie:
“They took a non-situation and made a situation out of it. They’ve made these girls feel humiliated.”
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