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A Florida high school offered refunds after parents found the school digitally altered dozens of student photos to make them appear “more humble”, according to reports.
Bartram Trail High School was outraged when it was discovered that the yearbook coordinator had edited approximately 80 student photos without their knowledge or permission.
Students say the changes were unnecessary or unfair.
“There’s a black box over my chest and the cardigan on the side like it’s changed and it looks really uncomfortable and I was very confused,” Riley O’Keefe, a newbie, told News 4 Jax.
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Elizabeth McCurdy said she was “horrified” to find out that her photo was also censored.
The school said it had previously excluded student images that were seen as violating the student code of conduct and relied on digital manipulation “to ensure that all students were included in the yearbook”.
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“I think it sends the message that our girls should be ashamed of their growing bodies and I think this is a terrible message to send to these young girls who are going through these changes,” said Adrian Bartlett, Mom of a student at the school, told The St. Augustine Record.
Another parent said her daughter wore her outfit to school several times without receiving an injury. Some parents have accused the school of enforcing a stricter policy on girls than boys, but the closest thing to a potentially problematic photo was the boy’s swimming team.
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The school claims that no photos of clubs or teams have been edited at all.
Ann Irwin, the school’s yearbook coordinator and teacher, had the final say on photos, the St. John’s County School District said.
The school’s website states, “All images in advertisements and all individual student images must be compliant with the St. Johns County’s School District Code of Conduct or can be digitally adjusted.”
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The school will issue a refund, but parents must submit the yearbook to receive one, reports say.