Schools are constantly facing backlash from students for strict dress codes that seem to only apply to young women, but this one may take the cake. A Utah high school took a bold step against tank tops and low-cut tees this week by randomly altering the yearbook photos of female students before publication.
Female students who wore tank tops and low-cut tees in their yearbook pictures, taken last fall, were startled by the fact that Wasatch High School had digitally added sleeves and raised the necklines of their tops. The school said in a statement published Thursday that the alteration was done to comply with the school’s dress code, which bans “extreme clothing” including “inappropriately short, tight, or revealing shorts, skirts, dresses, tank shirts, halter or crop tops.”
“Last fall when yearbook photos were taken, a large sign (4 feet by 5 feet) was placed where students could see it before having their photo taken. The sign told students that school dress standards would be enforced,” the statement reads. “Tank tops, low cut tops, inappropriate slogans on shirts, etc. would not be allowed. If a student violated this policy, the sign told them explicitly that the photos may be edited to correct the violation. The sign was plainly visible to all students who were having their photos taken.”
But students told local news station Fox 13 that the main source of their anger was the random nature of the schools editing. (One student also said the alteration “looked like white out on my skin”)
“I feel like they put names in a hat and pick and choose who,” sophomore Rachel Russel told Fox13. “There were plenty of girls that were wearing thicker tank tops and half of them got edited and half of them didn’t.”
The school’s response: our bad. “In the application of these graphic corrections, the high school yearbook staff did make some errors and were not consistent in how they were applied to student photos and the school apologizes for that inconsistency.”
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