Utah High School Photoshops Female Yearbook Photos to Show Less Skin
byKaitlin StanfordMay 30, 2014
The end of the school year yields many thrills for high school kids. There's the whole prospect of summer and, for some, going on to college; there's the excitement of graduating to a new grade level and, therefore, being way more cool; and, of course, there's the fun of getting the new yearbook, immediately flipping to your photo to see how good you look and then having friends sign a few words about how awesome you are. (Oh, high school.)
But for many female students at Utah's Wasatch High School in Heber County, the excitement of getting their new yearbook totally wore off as soon as they flipped to their photos. There, staring back at them from the page, was an altered photo, clearly photoshopped to show less skin and done entirely without their knowledge.
Now, if you're thinking that maybe the original photos featured some provocative cleavage, you'd be wrong. For sophomore Shelby Baum, she wasn't showing any cleavage, but the neckline of her shirt was still raised. Plus, a small tattoo on her chest had been removed.
The school admitted they had altered the photos, but said they had done so only in compliance with their dress code, which the students are aware of and had clearly violated. Superintendent Terry E. Shoemaker also pointed out that a sign at the class photo session stated that photos were subject to editing later.
"We only apologize in the sense that we want to be more consistent with what we're trying to do in the sense we can help kids better prepare for their future by knowing how to dress appropriately for things," Shoemaker also told FOX13.
News of the story broke Wednesday, and since then commentators have been waging debates on all fronts.
"Further propagation of the 'women are asking for it' by dressing the way they dress mentality," one commenter wrote on the Huffington Post.
On Reddit, someone else took a shot at the school district: "The only way that this school district is 'preparing the students for the real world' is by showing them that they'll consistently have to deal with stupid people making stupid decisions for the rest of their lives. None of the shown photos were deserving of any touch-up."
Still, others agreed with the school's stance, like one person on BuzzFeed who wrote, "Look, these teens need to realize that if [there] is a dress code, you need to follow it. At 95% of all jobs I have had, everyone had to have sleeves. Even at office jobs in Phoenix, so I really want to tell these girls to deal with it."
What do you think? Was the school out of line or within their rights?