Photoshop of 80 Pictures at Florida High School


Micole Abdelhak, Staff Writer

Many parents and students at Bartram Trail High School in St. Johns County, Florida, were left outraged after the school poorly photoshopped the school pictures of 80 girls in the yearbook to cover any trace of shoulders or cleavage.

Bartram Trail High School officials explained that they initially planned to remove any school pictures that violated the dress code. However, they decided that photoshopping the images would allow the students’ photos to be included rather than taken out entirely. The school’s website indicates that, according to their policy, pictures in violation of the dress code “may be digitally adjusted.” Parents, however, condemn the school’s inconsistency with enforcement of this policy, as the yearbook staff left a photo of two swim team boys in Speedos unedited, but felt the need to photoshop fabric onto 80 pictures of girls’ cleavage and shoulders. Parents and students affected assert that this decision reflects a double standard in the enforcement of the dress code concerning boys and girls. 

Some retorted that the school was rightful, not wanting students to fall victim to sexualization. However, the terrible photoshopping has actually placed a target on these students as their images circulate on Snapchat as memes. 

“You’re not only affecting their photo, it’s not just for protecting them, you’re making them uncomfortable and feel like their bodies aren’t acceptable in a yearbook,” said Riley O’Keefe, a student who had a black block edited over her chest in her yearbook picture.

The subjective nature of the dress code, however, leaves much to individual interpretation. Cleavage violating the dress code was decided according to the lines, “tops and shirts must cover the entire shoulder and they must be modest and not revealing or distracting” as well as “students are prohibited from wearing clothing that…exposes body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner.” The decision to block out students’ cleavage, however, left most of those affected confused and angry. Many parents claimed that their daughters had worn the same outfits 50 times without there being an issue.

Because many dress-code violating boys’ pictures were left untouched and girls who had never been dress-coded for the same outfits before were unfairly targeted, angry parents called for a consistency with the dress code.

Additionally, these students were never contacted about a retake, nor were they notified before taking the picture that their outfit violated the dress code. After facing much backlash, the school offered refunds for the $100 yearbook. However, parents are more concerned about their child’s ruined picture and their child being teased on social media for it. 

One parent concluded, “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 changes.”