A high school has come under fire and been accused of sexism after reportedly editing the pictures of around 80 students in their 2021 yearbook.
The altered pictures, which all featured female students, were deemed ‘inappropriate’ by staff at Bartram Trail High School in Florida and edited so that the students’ looked more conservative, according to Action News Jax.
Parents of the pupils have since demanded an apology from the school on behalf of their daughters.
A number of before and after photos from the yearbook have been shared on social media which show how the girls’ necklines were photoshopped to be higher – with rectangles the colour of their clothing imposed over their chests.
Meanwhile, photos of the boys’ swim team in speedos were left unchanged, which prompted one student from the school to call out the “double-standards” and unnecessary “sexualisation” of women’s bodies.
Ninth-grade student Riley O’Keefe, who had her yearbook pictured edited, told the publication that the situation had made her feel “uncomfortable”.
“The double standard in the yearbook is more so they looked at our body and thought just a little bit of skin showing is sexual,” she said.
“They looked at the boys, for the swim team photos and other sports photos and thought that was fine, and that’s really upsetting and uncomfortable.”
She adds that the outfit she wore in her photo had been approved by the school office on a separate occasion, who told her it didn’t violate the dress code.
And Riley isn’t the only one feeling this way, fellow ninth-grader Zoe Lannone shared how she also felt “sexualised” and “disgusted” by the edits.
“I felt confident that day and I looked good, in dress code,” she told Action News Jax. “When I sent it to my mom and all of us saw it, I felt very sexualised.
Following the backlash, the school told parents they can request a refund for the yearbook if they are unhappy but one mum, who wished to remain anonymous, didn’t think this was good enough.
“Our daughters of Bartram deserve an apology. They are making them feel embarrassed about who they are.”
In a statement, the St. Johns County School District said: “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.
“The digital alterations were a solution to make sure all students were included in the yearbook.”
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