A Florida high school has digitally altered the yearbook photos of at least 80 girls to cover up their chests and shoulders.
In photos shared with the New York Times and various local news outlets, the girls’ portraits include a shoddily edited bar filled in to match the color of their tops. Students didn’t realize the alterations were made until they opened their yearbooks last week, which cost $100.
In a statement to the St. Augustine Record, a spokesperson for the school district said officials made the editorial decision to bring the students in line with the school’s dress code. (The yearbook also reportedly features photos of boys in Speedos, which were of course printed as-is.)
“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, so the digital alterations were a solution to make sure all students were included in the yearbook,” the spokesperson, Christina Langston, told the outlet. Bartram Trail would provide refunds to anyone unhappy with the choice, she said, and accept “feedback from parents/guardians/students on making this process better for next year.”
The students say the move is the culmination of an ongoing dress code crackdown at Bartram Trail High School, which earlier this year resulted in 31 girls getting taken out of class for dress code violations on the same day.
Riley O’Keefe—one of the girls who had her yearbook photo edited—said many of the students who got the citations were asked to unzip jackets on suspicion that they were wearing something inappropriate underneath.
“The thing is, if its zipped up, it should be fine,” she told News4Jax in March. “It’s like our bodies are sexualized and it’s more important than our education.”
Of course that’s exactly what’s happening. We’ve written about it at Jezebel dozens of times by now, and in fact we’ve even written about a different high school pulling the same yearbook photoshop stunt, almost seven years ago to the day. Teen girls are much more aware now of the ways these policies are designed to shame them, but knowing something to be true doesn’t prevent it from having an effect anyway.
Not to mention: High school yearbooks are mementos most of us hold onto for years after we graduate. Girls at Bartram Trail had theirs spoiled by sexist attitudes.