Bartram Trail High School in St. Johns County, Florida is currently under fire from the community after they altered the photos of some of their students for the school yearbook.
Students were warned earlier in the school year, before picture day, their photos would be altered for the yearbook if their attire did not meet the school's dress code. The school Superintendent claimed this was an effort to include all students in the yearbook, rather than removing their photo entirely when their attire did not comply.
But when students received their yearbooks, many were shocked to see the number of students with poorly edited photos.
It was confirmed 80 female students had school portraits that were altered. The results were not aesthetically pleasing.
You can see local news coverage here:
One student, Riley O'Keefe, had a visible black bar copy-pasted over her chest where a small amount of cleavage was visible.
You can see that image here:
Ironically, O'Keefe later stated she had worn the outfit in question to school the entire day of the picture being taken. She was never told the outfit was problematic or violated the school's dress code.
"There's a black box over my chest and the cardigan on the side is, like, moved over, and it looks really awkward, and I was very confused."
"It made me feel a little uncomfortable that that's what they noticed when they looked at our pictures."
Adrian Bartlett, the mother of another student, questioned the message this was sending the female students:
"It was a little sad, a little worrisome, because my daughter has struggled with mental health and self-esteem and body issues and even a couple of hospitalizations this year because of that."
"So this is just one more thing that could be super detrimental to these young minds."
"So it's, it's scary."
Even more questionable than the 80 teenage girl's photos being altered were the photos that were not altered.
There were photos of the male swim team included, with the young men wearing speedos. There were other photos, like selfies, included showing shoulders, collarbones and mid-drifts that are all against the school's dress code.
But these photos were not edited—only the portraits of individual teen girls were.
People outside the community were similarly concerned about the message sent to female students.
Some also pointed out the edits were not high-quality and impacted the yearbook's quality as a keepsake.
The Superintendent, however, argued the edits were all aligned with the school's mission and dress code and they would be supporting the decisions of Anna Irwin, who teaches and leads the school's yearbook team.
It was confirmed Irwin and several students from the school's yearbook team scrolled through all of the school's individual portraits and edited the photos they deemed problematic.
It appears at this time the school will not be correcting these issues or addressing the community's concerns further, as they continue to cite the school manual's dress code and otherwise refusing to comment.