Florida high school issues refunds after yearbook edited 80 female student photos to be 'more modest': reports

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A Florida high school offered refunds after parents discovered the school had digitally altered dozens of female student photos to make them appear “more modest,” according to reports. 

Bartram Trail High School faced outrage when it came to light that the yearbook coordinator had edited approximately 80 student photos without their knowledge or permission. 

Students say the changes were unnecessary or unfair. 

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“There’s a black box over my chest and the cardigan on the side like moved over and it looks really awkward and I was very confused,” Riley O’Keefe, a freshman, told News 4 Jax. 

Elizabeth McCurdy said she was “appalled” when she found out her photo was censored, too. 

The school claimed that it has previously excluded student pictures that it deemed in violation of the student code of conduct, and it relied on digital manipulation “to make sure all students were included in the yearbook.” 

“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,” Adrian Bartlett, mother of a student at the school, told The St. Augustine Record.

Another parent said her daughter wore her outfit to school numerous times without receiving a violation. Some parents have accused the school of enforcing a more strict policy for girls than boys, but the closest to a possibly problematic photo was of the boy’s swim team. 

The school maintains that no photos of clubs or teams were edited at all. 

Ann Irwin, the yearbook coordinator and a teacher at the school, had the final say on photos, the St. Johns County School District said. 

The school’s website states: “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.” 

The school will issue a refund, but parents must turn in the yearbook to receive one, reports said.

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