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School alters girls' yearbook photos to cover bare skin, is not sorry

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Utah high school adjusted sleeves and necklines to make some yearbook pictures more modest.
Students complain about arbitrary nature of retouching of Utah high school pictures.

A Utah high school has retouched yearbook photographs of some female students whose pictures may have been too revealing for some adults.

Wasatch High School in Heber City, about 50 miles from Salt Lake City, is under fire after it altered the images of some students to show less skin. The school never notified the students before resorting to Photoshop.

According to local media reports, some photos were edited to apparently protect the girls’ modesty: sleeves were added and in another, a neckline was strategically raised. For some students, it was the arbitrary nature of the adjustments that rankled.

“‘I feel like they put names in a hat and pick and choose who,” sophomore Rachel Russel told WGHP. Russel’s original picture showed her in a sleeveless top, but in the yearbook version, she has black sleeves.

“There were plenty of girls [who] were wearing thicker tank tops and half of them got edited and half of them didn't,” she said.

Students raised the issue with high school administrators, who said the yearbook couldn't be changed after printing.

Wasatch County School District Supt. Terry E. Shoemaker defended the general decision to edit images for modesty. He told reporters that students knew there was a dress code and there was a sign warning them that their pictures may be altered.

Shoemaker did acknowledge the school should have taken a more consistent approach.

“We only apologize in the sense that we want to be more consistent with what we're trying to do in that sense we can help kids better prepare for their future by knowing how to dress appropriately for things,' Shoemaker said.

The school district dress code's ban on “extreme clothing” lists '”revealing shorts, skirts, dresses, tank shirts, halter or crop tops, spaghetti straps, etc.”

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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