Parents and students of a Florida high school are criticizing what they say is a double standard in the dress code policy after several girls’ yearbook photos were reportedly edited.
A review of yearbook photos conducted by NBC affiliate WTLV of Jacksonville shows that some female students at Bartram Trail High School in St. Johns County had their yearbook photos altered to cover up areas of their chest, according to the station.
In the pictures, which the outlet posted, the student’s clothing was digitally cut and pasted over their exposed skin.
“They completely altered her photo, and it makes her chest looked deformed in a way,” said parent Adrian Bartlett.
The public high school, located about 30 miles south of Jacksonville, follows the St. Johns County School District’s dress code policy, according to the school’s website. An online handbook for the county states that girls cannot wear shirts that are considered “revealing or distracting.”
“Midriff or ‘cut‐out’ dresses and ‘cut out’ tops may not be worn. Extremely short skirts are not allowed. Skirts must be no shorter than four inches above the top of the knee,” it reads. “Revealing clothing, pajamas, and lingerie are not acceptable.”
But Bartlett told WTLV that her daughter was never told the outfit she wore for picture day violated the school’s dress code policy. She said that the outfit is one of her daughter’s favorites and she’s worn it on several occasions with no issue.
The edited yearbook photo is now the subject of jokes amongst her daughter’s classmates, according to Bartlett.
“Now other kids are writing in her yearbook and writing about it and making comments and jokes about it,” she said.
“With these kids, it’s scary because they deal with so much pressure and stress already and now you put body image issues on top of it,” she added.
One student, Riley O’Keefe, told the outlet that she was told by the school that her outfit was acceptable but when she received her yearbook, her photo had been edited to make her appear covered.
O’Keefe said that she thinks there is a double standard because boys on the school’s swim team were allowed to wear Speedos, according to WTLV.
Bartram Trail’s principal and the St. Johns County School District did not immediately return a request for comment on Saturday. The district told WTLV that the yearbook is handled by an English teacher and that any parent who calls to raise the issue is being offered a refund for the cost of the yearbook. The photo editing appears to have been done by the school, not the district, according to WTLV.